Local News

Victim's daughter wants brakes put on truck bill

Posted June 23, 2008

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Jennifer Tierney knows the damage large trucks can inflict, so she is trying to rally opposition to pending legislation that would allow larger trucks on North Carolina highways.

Senate Bill 1695 would allow 53-foot trailers on the state's primary roads, up from the 48-foot limit. It would also increase the weight limit of certain farm equipment and allow wider boat trailers.

"This is not rocket science. This is common sense, and this bill defies all logic," said Tierney, whose father was killed in a wreck involving a big rig 25 years ago. "The economic gain for the traffic industry is not worth the lives of our citizens."

A survey of 507 people statewide last week by Public Policy Polling found 58 percent opposed to the bill and 15 percent in favor of it. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Lake Lure Police Chief Eric Hester shares her concerns, saying large trucks on narrow mountain roads often result in his officers providing emergency escorts to nearby hospitals for people injured in wrecks.

The state Department of Transportation and the state Highway Patrol have previously expressed concerns about the bill, which has passed the Senate and will be discussed Wednesday by House members.

Charlie Diehl, president of the North Carolina Trucking Association, said in a statement that 53-foot trailers are the standard in the industry. Outlawing their use will harm the economy of smaller communities, he said.

"This is not about undermining public safety," said Sherry Melton, spokeswoman for the North Carolina Chamber.

Other states have already lifted similar restrictions on truck sizes, Melton said.

"The size (of) trucks being proposed in the legislation really has been the industry standard for a decade now," she said. "(There is a) lack of understanding what legislation really does."

13 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Mustang Sallie Jun 25, 2008

    No way they are bad enough at the size they are now. I have a good friend that drives and he said there are tons of people behind the wheel of them that should not be. He said they have 2 log books so if they are stopped they show the one that's ok for them to still be driving. Too many now make a game of scaring drivers by coming up behind them and forcing them to move faster.

    Ok, I have a friend from high school that shot his parents to death, I have a friend that commits adultery, I have friends that steal from their jobs. FACE IT, there are tons of people that just should not be. I do not like what these so called friends do, so I no longer associate with them. Why don't you go and meet all the truckers with your friend and weed the good from the bad with all of your knowledge, so that society can be safe. Talk about sterotypes, when I grow up I hope to be half as good as you folks think you are.

  • threeps Jun 24, 2008

    nursevb8 said: I am all for truckers and the difficult job they do, BUT, I also know they over fill their trucks (overweight) then take the small outerlying roads to stay out of sight.
    It isn't the truckers that over fill their trucks, point the finger on that one at the shippers. They are the ones that want to get as much as possible on one truck so that they cut their shipping costs. The trucking companies and the drivers would prefer lighter loads. The less the load weighs the less fuel they burn hauling. More weight equals more fuel.
    I am tired of everyone always pointing the finger at the truckers. The shippers should be held more accountable as well.
    As for shipping on rail..... Shippers ship and consignees order based on "just in time" which means they order it a day or two before they need it. It usually takes too long to ship it via rail. Doing that would result in the product not being in the store when you go to buy it.

  • dplowman Jun 24, 2008

    Its only five feet longer, good grief people the trucks you see every day are mostly pulling fifty three foot trailers. The problem on the roads is the me me me attitude that a lot of the drivers have. I see folks pull out in front of me just to go half a mile and turn into the gas station or pass on a winding road and then right away turn off.Folks are just in a hurry to go nowhere and that is what causes a lot of the wrecks. Five more feet on a tractor trailer is not going to make any dif. at all.

  • Adelinthe Jun 24, 2008

    "I support this . I'd like to see all the nay sayer's go take and pass the CDL driving license test. if you don't want to allow it, then don't complain when you go to the stroe and it's out of stock on what you wanted to purchase... the trailer they wanted to haul it in to save fuel... you voted out."

    Safety comes first, and unless the restrict the roads these big rigs would travel on in the bill to only those of widths wide enough to accommodate them safely, I say NO, because the life that's saved might be that of YOUR child!!!

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • rroadrunner99 Jun 24, 2008

    I support this . I'd like to see all the nay sayer's go take and pass the CDL driving license test. if you don't want to allow it, then don't complain when you go to the stroe and it's out of stock on what you wanted to purchase... the trailer they wanted to haul it in to save fuel... you voted out.

  • beachbum1 Jun 24, 2008

    No way they are bad enough at the size they are now. I have a good friend that drives and he said there are tons of people behind the wheel of them that should not be. He said they have 2 log books so if they are stopped they show the one that's ok for them to still be driving. Too many now make a game of scaring drivers by coming up behind them and forcing them to move faster.

  • nursevb8 Jun 23, 2008

    I am all for truckers and the difficult job they do, BUT, I also know they over fill their trucks (overweight) then take the small outerlying roads to stay out of sight. Not all truckers do this, but yes, some do. Ever been out on a small country road and wonder why that semi is on that road too? Most of the weigh stations you see are usually closed! Truckers need experience and the only way to get it is to drive, but there should be rules set. Then the DOT will have to pull all 53' trucks over to see their credentials. That's not gonna happen. There are a lot of accidents with big trucks, but a lot of the times it is the car that has caused the problem.

  • animaenagerie Jun 23, 2008

    Wow, no more - no less...what an appalling display of ignorance about the current state of the US rail system and the trucking industry. Research sharpens the mind. Do some.

  • Mustang Sallie Jun 23, 2008

    Everyone wants to complain about the big trucks, etc. etc. I wonder what those folks do when they go to Walmart, Food Lion, the gas station, basically anywhere, do they say, "We can't buy these products because the driver may have been involved in an accident, or he may be inexperienced, or a driver might have killed someone in transit to the store" As for trains, well I can imagine a "small truck" convoy leaving a train depot w/ large appliances, headed to how many stores? Tell me again how much diesel fuel is per gallon. What about the people in cars that have a hard time breathing on their own let alone driving. Cars w/inexperienced drivers kill too. Shall we ban cars and we can all walk? Get real. An accident is an sccident. STUFF happens. Next time you complain about the store being out of stock, go get your CDL and drive a 53' truck for a living and put up w/ignorant car drivers, if not then be quiet.

  • no more - no less Jun 23, 2008

    I think all cargo should travel by train to designated depots then carried by small trucks to their destinations around town.

More...