Gadsden County Sheriff Tells Congress: No Bigger Trucks!

By: GCSO Release
By: GCSO Release

Morris Young, Gadsden County Sheriff, along with members from the Gadsden County Sheriff’s
Office, is heading to Washington, D.C. on May 31 armed with a simple message for Congress: Florida
motorists should not be forced to share the road with bigger, more dangerous trucks.

As millions of Americans prepare to take to the roads for Memorial Day weekend – the traditional start of
the busiest and most dangerous season on our highways – Sheriff Young will join other sheriffs, and
safety professionals, from around the nation to speak out against proposals in Congress that would
increase maximum truck weights and remove current restrictions on massive triple-trailer trucks and other
“longer combination vehicles” (LCVs).

“Bigger, heavier trucks and safety are like oil and water – they just don’t mix,” said Sheriff Young.
“These 97,000-pound trucks are going to have higher centers of gravity, which increases the risk of
dangerous rollovers. The third trailer on a triple can sway from side-to-side as much as 3 feet. Can you
imagine these trucks running on Florida’s major highways, including Interstate 10? One of my jobs is to
keep our highways safe for Florida drivers. These kinds of trucks are just going to make it more difficult
to keep our drivers safe.”

Legislation introduced in the House and Senate would increase maximum weights for single-trailer trucks
by 8 ½ tons, from 80,000 pounds to 97,000 pounds. With Congress preparing a multi-year transportation
funding bill and a vote expected soon, some of the nation’s largest and most powerful trucking companies
are also lobbying to lift a 20-year-old “freeze” that strictly limits operations of triple trailers and other

Sheriff Young said his 25 years in law enforcement make him convinced bigger trucks will lead to more
dangerous highways.

“Longer and heavier trucks create a multitude of safety issues just simply by their design. An increased
risk of fatal accidents and a larger crash footprint cannot be ignored just so big trucking companies can
make more money,” Sheriff Young said. “Too many people are already killed and injured in truck
crashes. Bigger, heavier trucks will only make those numbers go up. These heavier trucks will be prone
to braking and equipment issues, not to mention being top-heavy and difficult to maneuver.”

Sheriff Young joined like-minded law enforcement officials from 18 states in making the trek to
Washington, at the invitation of the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks (CABT) a non-profit grassroots
organization opposed to legislation that would make trucks longer or heavier.

In Florida in 2009, there were 181 fatalities in crashes involving large trucks and 2,782 injuries. There
were also 2,945 large trucks involved in non-fatal crashes.
Sheriff Young noted that higher truck weights accelerate the damage done to bridges and pavement.

More than 290 of the state’s highway bridges are structurally deficient – meaning they require substantial
repairs or replacement.

In Washington, Sheriff Young plans to meet with members of the Florida delegation, including
Representatives John Mica, Corrine Brown, and Steve Southerland, who sit on the
Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, which is likely to vote on the bigger truck bills after
the Memorial Day holiday.

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  • by Thom on May 26, 2011 at 04:29 PM
    I bet these same trucking companies will complain and whine when more tax dollars are needed to repair the damage these trucks will do to roads. They will also want to limit judgments for the families they injure or kill. Big companies want all of the up side and little of the cost.
  • by Dave Location: tally on May 26, 2011 at 02:54 PM
    how about getting them to do something about the agriculture equipment riding and destroying our highways and streets but yet don't pay any fuel tax? The equipment is getting to wide and large. Something needs to be done before someone gets hurt
  • by Jim Location: Gadsden County on May 26, 2011 at 02:26 PM
    The "Gadsden County Sheriff, along with members from the Gadsden County's Office" heading to D.C. reference bigger, more dangerous trucks on Florida roads. How many on the Gadsden County payroll are going to D.C.? Who is paying for this trip? Sheriff Young states he has 25 years of law enforcemnet. Thanks for your service. However I find it hard to believe that any Florida sheriff would be considered to have any expertise to add to a conversation about the dangers of bigger trucks on Florida roads. I would be surprised if the sheriff has any more information than what is shown in the GCSO news release. There has to be people at the federal and state level that deal with these truck issues on a daily basic. These are the people that would have hands-on knowledge reference bigger, more dangerous trucks. Gadsden County has enough local problems to keep a sheriff busy. It appears to me that this is just a wasted trip to Washington. GCSO let us know who's paying and who's going.
  • by Anonymous on May 26, 2011 at 02:08 PM
    The trucks are not only way bigger than our vehicles but they drive like a bat out of heck!!!!! Almost every big truck i see on the roads anymore is SPEEDING.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 15, 2011 at 04:09 PM in reply to
      You are just like the majority of the rest of the public, You only remember seeing the ones that are doing wrong & pay no mind whatsoever to the ones doing right. If people would actually take the time to do the research & these news companies looked further into the cause of accidents, it would be found that the majority of big truck vs 4-wheeler accidents r the fault of the 4-wheeler, not the big truck.
  • by Anonymous on May 26, 2011 at 02:01 PM
    Just a vacation on the tax payers
  • by Realist Location: Tally on May 26, 2011 at 12:39 PM
    How about the Monster Trucks with the high bumpers? Isn't there a regulation to those of only 36 inches from the ground to bottom of the bumper? How about that WCTV, Investigate this and inform us on this issue as well. Especially those who live on Highway 20!
  • by cheryl on May 26, 2011 at 12:10 PM
    I'm against the big and longer trucks ,,but Morris ,,you need to stay home and not spend tax dollars for this ,,,and your going to take some of your buddies with you ,,how many tax dollars is this going to cost the people of Gadsden Co... STAY HOME
  • by Big J on May 26, 2011 at 12:07 PM
    more of our tax money wasted ,,,,,,your words are not going to help ..Sherriff Young ,,you need to stay home and not use our tax dollars for the bs.. Oh,,I forgot ,,you think you are GOD and you can tell them in DC what to do ..NOT and your going to take members of the Sherriff office with you ,,BULL
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