Assemblywoman Lifton Calls on Congress to Support Safer Highways

March 25, 2009

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WF-Tompkins/Cortland) today called on Congress to oppose efforts to increase truck weights and lengths on our nation’s roads and highways by supporting the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (SHIPA). The federal legislation would maintain the current truck weight limit of 80,000 pounds and continue the freeze on long-double and triple-tractor-trailers on national highways and interstate roads.

“SHIPA will make our highways safer for motorists and pedestrians and help preserve roads and bridges in the Finger Lakes region,” Lifton said. “Many bridges in our area are already in need of repair, and our local roads are not meant to handle multi-axel trucks. This isn’t the time to push the envelope of road safety with bigger, more obtrusive convoys of colossal trucks.

“Not only do these massive trucks make roads less safe for motorists and pedestrians, they increase pollution and accelerate the deterioration of our infrastructure, leaving local property taxpayers to pick up the tab,” Lifton said.

Lifton has fought for years to stem the flow of large trucks through the Finger Lakes region. Last year her efforts led Governor Paterson and the state Department of Transportation to draft new regulations aimed at reducing large truck traffic on roads such as state routes 89, 90 and 96. These measures are now undergoing final review by the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform.

“This problem also needs federal attention, and so I am contacting our congressional representatives to ensure massive trucks do not compromise the quality of life and safety of our neighborhoods,” Lifton said.