Improvements Needed in the Department of Transportation's Truck Size and Weight Study

CED-80-41: Published: Jan 14, 1980. Publicly Released: Jan 15, 1980.

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The Department of Transportation's truck size and weight study will be directed by the Intermodal Studies Division within the Office of the Secretary of Transportation. A review of the draft study design indicated a number of areas where modifications should be made. Congress should be aware that the study has been expanded beyond the areas specifically mentioned in implementing legislation and this expansion will require additional data which may require more time than provided for in legislation.

In general, the study plan defines a framework for analyzing the impact of changes in truck weight laws. The work will be divided into seven separate tasks: intermodal competition and traffic diversion; impacts on the highway system; nonuniformity in State truck size and weight laws; impacts on highway and motor carrier safety; impacts on energy use; impacts on the environment; and policy analysis, development, and recommendations. The study plan is based on correlation and analysis of existing highway data with little development of new information. This approach, dictated by time and budget restraints, will make the final study results sensitive to the limitations of existing data and the assumptions that are made when using it. The draft study outlines a general analysis framework but does not discuss the specific assumptions and other matters that will be added during the course of study.

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