Some weeks ago, WV Loggers Council co-signed a letter to help incentivize this bill:
From the American Loggers Council (ALC), on May 2:
[ALC] today applauded the introduction of the bipartisan Safe Routes Act of 2019 (H.R. 2453) allowing log trucks to utilize federal interstates for short-haul trips. The legislation was announced today by U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI); other original sponsors include U.S. Representatives Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Jared Golden (D-ME) and Jim Sensebrenner (R-WI).
The ALC along with its partners have advocated “Safe Routes” legislation to allow the industry’s trucks to haul state legal weight tolerances on the Federal Interstate Highway System, which often provide safer routes to mills. Due to inconsistent truck weights in many regions throughout the country, trucks hauling logs to mills are often forced to use city, county and state roads, where more than 96 percent of log truck collisions occurred, according to a study.
“Preventing fatal log truck collisions is a high priority in our industry and our communities,” said ALC Executive Vice President Daniel Dructor. “One proven solution is to give log trucks the option of using federal interstates on short hauls, where they can be routed away from schools, crosswalks, city intersections, railroad tracks, and other challenges. A few individual states have received exemptions that lifted federal truck weight limits on interstates, and in each case it resulted in fewer collisions, reduced driver fatigue and improved equipment safety.”
Dructor says improving log truck safety will help in the recruitment of new operators to replace an aging workforce, and with few insurance carriers willing to write policies for log trucks, the Safe Routes Act may help reduce those costs as well. The legislation only applies to short hauls typically within a 150-mile radius, and does not apply to long hauls.
“The ALC would like to thank the Democratic and Republican members who are supporting this bill as original co-sponsors, including Congressman Mike Gallagher for being its first champion in the 116th Congress,” Dructor said. “We also thank our partners, including the Forest Resources Association, and our members for educating their federal representatives and staff on this important safety issue. We’ll continue to work across the aisle, in the both the House and Senate, until this safety solution reaches the president’s desk.”