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SMART Transportation Division survey cites heavy opposition to heavier trucks

Constituents in Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky, and in eight congressional districts in seven states overwhelmingly oppose increasing truck weight limits from 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds, according to survey results released by the SMART Transportation Division.

The "Heavy Truck Survey Series" was conducted by DFM Research on behalf of the union. DFM Research conducted 5,080 interviews between March 2013 and March 2014, which "clearly indicate that regardless of where you live, what your political viewpoint may be, or your gender and age, there is a convergence of opinion that heavier trucks are not wanted on U.S. highways," SMART Transportation Division officials said in a news item posted on the union's website.

Demographic highlights of the survey show women are more likely than men to oppose increased truck weight limits; older residents are more likely to oppose the increased limits; and there is little significant difference between affiliations with the two major political parties when it comes to opposing the limits.

Truck size and weight was a primary topic of discussion last week at Railroad Day on Capitol Hill, which was attended by hundreds of rail industry constituents. Held on March 13,the event was sponsored and organized by the Association of American Railroads (AAR), American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association, National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association Inc., Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association, Railway Supply Institute, Railway Systems Suppliers Inc. and Railway Tie Association.

Through the lobbying efforts of the AAR and other organizations, the rail industry long has opposed larger and heavier trucks. The U.S. Department of Transportation later this year expects to release a study that will analyze the effects and implications of longer and heavier trucks on the nation's highways.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/18/2014