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Thursday, February 28, 2013    

SMART joins rail industry constituents that oppose larger-truck-size bill


The SMART Transportation Division recently sent a letter to all U.S. representatives stating the union has joined with the Association of American Railroads, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, Railway Supply Institute, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, Transportation Communications International Union and Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division in opposing the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2013 (H.R. 612).

Leaders of the division — which is part of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers — asked the legislators to refrain from co-sponsoring the bill.

Introduced Feb. 12 by Reps. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) and Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), H.R. 612 seeks to increase the maximum truck weight allowed on the nation's highways from 80,000 to 97,000 pounds.

In the letter, SMART division officials stress that the bill would increase the subsidies other motorists provide for the damage caused by heavy trucks. One in every four U.S. bridges is structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, they said in a prepared statement.

The union leaders also asked the legislators to consider the environmental implications posed by larger trucks and pointed out that the American public "overwhelmingly opposes increasing truck weights," SMART division officials said.

H.R. 612 was referred to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

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