Executive Briefings

Trucking, Rail Competition Enlists Aid of State Troopers

David Latimer, wearing a South Carolina Highway Patrol button on his lapel, was working Capitol Hill one recent morning, warning of the dangers of longer and heavier trucks on the nation's highways.

"If you have a bad truck accident, more of them are going to involve fatalities," said Mr. Latimer, who passed out his card as the vice chairman of the National Troopers Coalition, which represents 45,000 law enforcement officers.

What he did not highlight was that he was being paid by a nonprofit group financed by the railroad industry, which stands to lose billions of dollars if the trucking industry is allowed to carry larger loads.

This fight is playing out as Congress prepares to take up renewal of the Highway Trust Fund, which finances billions of dollars in projects for road construction, bridge repair and other infrastructure programs. The fund runs out of money May 31.

While the trucking industry will look for a way to insert language into the highway funding bill that allows bigger trucks, the railroad industry will be fighting to quash such a move.

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"If you have a bad truck accident, more of them are going to involve fatalities," said Mr. Latimer, who passed out his card as the vice chairman of the National Troopers Coalition, which represents 45,000 law enforcement officers.

What he did not highlight was that he was being paid by a nonprofit group financed by the railroad industry, which stands to lose billions of dollars if the trucking industry is allowed to carry larger loads.

This fight is playing out as Congress prepares to take up renewal of the Highway Trust Fund, which finances billions of dollars in projects for road construction, bridge repair and other infrastructure programs. The fund runs out of money May 31.

While the trucking industry will look for a way to insert language into the highway funding bill that allows bigger trucks, the railroad industry will be fighting to quash such a move.

Read Full Article