State News

Panel votes to allow big trucks on more state roads

Posted July 10, 2008 11:35 a.m. EDT
Updated July 10, 2008 7:05 p.m. EDT

— A plan to allow longer tractor trailers on more North Carolina roadways is rolling through the House.

The House Finance Committee signed off on a plan Thursday to allow 53-foot tractor trailers on all primary roadways. Current state law restricts them to interstates and designated highways, unlike their 48-foot counterparts.

The panel also voted to create an easier way for the Department of Transportation to restrict truck traffic on roads it deems unsafe.

"I can't tell you how absolutely thrilled I am," said Jennifer Tierney, whose father, James Mooney, was killed 25 years ago in a wreck involving a tractor trailer.

"I would have done anything to have had the opportunity to vote on something that would have saved my dad's life," she added. "And they had the opportunity today, and they did the right thing."

An earlier draft of the bill would have allowed state officials to close roads to trucks after submitting a report to a legislative committee. The new version allows engineers to close roads and report the closing later.

The committee removed a provision to ease restrictions on boat towing because other proposed bills could change those rules.