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40 3.3.8 State Legislative Actions will continue to force a piecemeal approach to size and weight and will force many bigger and heavier trucks onto Limits on truck size and weight appear in state regulations roadways not designed for their use. as early as 1913, when weight limits were introduced in Another variable among states is the use of permits. Many Maine, Massachusetts, and Washington, and weight and states allow exemptions for certain classes of vehicle, or com- width limits were introduced in Pennsylvania. The last state modities, either with or without permits. Many northeastern to enact a weight limit was North Dakota, in 1933. States were states allow higher weight limits through a special truck regis- slower to adopt limits on length, width, and height than they tration or permit. Other states issue permits for divisible loads were on weight, but by 1929, most states restricted these di- under grandfather authority. In 1985, 37 states issued 153,642 mensions as well as weight (74). Size and weight limits have divisible load permits, and in 1995, this same number of states generally increased over time to allow for larger and heavier issued 380,511 permits. The number of permits issued for spe- vehicles and have varied significantly from state to state, and cific commodities continues to increase as well. For example, have changed frequently. A 1941 federal study documented in 1995, Pennsylvania added two new overweight permits for 300 changes in individual state size and weight laws between 42,638 kg (94,000 lb) gross weight and 9,525 kg (21,000 lb) per 1913 and 1941, or about one change every 4 years per state axle on state highways, but only for steel coils and milk. In (75). State to state variation in some limits has narrowed over 1996, the Pennsylvania legislature added bulk animal feed time, but uniformity of combination truck length limits has (68). Such exemptions and exceptions are pervasive through- not improved. The recommended policies of AASHTO have out the United States and seem to continue as time goes on. been a model for many states since the first policy was adopted in 1931, when AASHTO urged states to adopt uni- form regulations to promote efficiency and safety and to 3.3.9 Regional Initiatives allow for standardized highway design. Even though some AASHTO is interested in investigating size and weight is- states have used AASHTO policies, their appeal for unifor- sues. The major goal of AASHTO efforts to date has been har- mity has had limited effect (74). monization among states in a given region. AASHTO devel- A shift of some truck size and weight regulatory authority oped a position at its 2007 meeting pertaining to regional from the states to the federal government occurred at the start harmonization, encouraging states to harmonize on a regional of the Interstate construction era in the 1950s, and since then, basis. An example of this regional cooperative arrangement is the distribution of this shared authority has shifted back and the WASHTO, which consists of the following states: Ari- forth. As the Interstate construction era draws to a close, the zona, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Texas, transportation community is again reassessing the federal New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Nevada, Alaska, California, role in the context of future highway transportation needs. Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. One of The federal size and weight rules in the 1982 STAA super- the options under this arrangement is a multistate single-trip seded many state limits, at least as they applied to the desig- permit issued under the Western Regional Permitting Agree- nated network where trucks meeting the federal standards ment. Under the terms of the agreement, each member state may operate. Primary elements of these rules included the may issue regional permits allowing operation in any other operation of twin trailer combinations, 14.65-m (48-ft) semi- member state (76). Both WASHTO and the Southern Associ- trailers, and vehicle width of 2.59 m (102 in.). At the end of ation of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO) 1982, 36 states allowed 19.81-m (65-ft) long twin trailer com- have done a considerable amount of (divisible load) permit- binations on at least some roads. Several states required spe- ting as well. Neither the Mississippi Valley nor Northeastern cial permits for their operation, and 14 states restricted the Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials operation of twins to designated highways. Semitrailers (NASHTO) have been as active as other regions in promoting 14.65-m (48-ft) long were legal on some roads in 35 states in regional divisible load permitting, according to an AASHTO 1982, and 10 states allowed 2.59-m (102-in.) wide trucks. The spokesman. All interested states must agree to harmonization federal requirement that no overall length limit be imposed to get something meaningful started, and to make the efforts for the affected combination vehicles overturned such limits an ongoing success. in all 50 states (74). In a May 2000 workshop involving stakeholders following The 1982 STAA mandated a nationwide network of routes the U.S.DOT CTSW study, participants spoke favorably re- for the operation of 8.53-m (28-ft) double trailers and 14.65-m garding regionalism and trade corridors (77). The majority of (48-ft) semitrailers. Some states have been reluctant to push participants favored more state flexibility for regional poli- the size and weight issue even to federal maximums in all cies, and a special permit system with strong enforcement was cases, while other states have sought increases beyond fed- generally viewed as a must for regional truck size and weight eral maximums--even if on less safe roads. These differences limits. Multi-state agreements are recognized as a means of