Effort underway to increase weight of trucks in Michigan

There is a push in Washington DC to allow more weight in semi-trucks.

But Roseville Police Chief James Berlin hopes to lead the fight against heavier truck loads hitting the highways and streets.

"Last year in the state of Michigan we had 107 people killed in truck crashes," said Berlin. "That was a 47 percent increase from the year before. You add bigger, heavier trucks and that's only going to go up."

Now there is an effort to increase the weight of the trucks, raising the limit to 91,000 pounds - and increasing the length of the trucks by 10 feet.  

"The biggest proponents are UPS, FedEx, Anheuser Busch, Coca-Cola and Amazon," Berlin said. "The larger trucks the larger awaits allows them to haul more freight which is all economic to them, but it doesn't make it a good idea."

Roseville's top cop was commissioned by the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks to represent Michigan. Berlin went to Washington to take his fight against bigger rigs right to lawmakers.
 And while our battered and broken roads are reason enough. There's this too. 

"Our concern on this is the trucks can't turn now," Berlin said. "You make them longer it makes it that much more difficult. Breaking, tires, the fatigue on the equipment by these massive weights makes it that much more dangerous They are more prone to rollovers." 

Right now Congress is listening to both sides of this debate - but not all lawmakers are putting it in neutral with this one. 

"Our congressional delegation was very supportive," Berlin said. "They realize that the infrastructure can only support so much. Just because you can make them bigger doesn't mean we should.
"I think we got our message across and they were receptive of that."

Congressman mike bishop says this is a critical issue but one that needs to be looked at deeper than from the side of the road.  A deep dive is necessary.   He also thinks this may be an issue Where individual states legislate the issue of trucks on their streets-not the feds. 

"(Infrastructure) is an important priority for me and for the rest of the Michigan delegation," said Rep. Mike Bishop (R-Rochester).