Murphy Called On to Testify at Capitol
The Texas House of Representatives’ Committee on Transportation invited CTR researcher Dr. Mike Murphy to testify at a September 28, 2016, hearing on oversize/overweight (OS/OW) vehicles. Because of his expertise in this area, this was not his first visit to Transportation Committee hearings. In this most recent testimony, Dr. Murphy briefed the Committee on federal truck size and weight laws and exemptions, and their relationship to Texas OS/OW truck laws and exemptions—in the context of truck operations on the federal and state-funded roadway systems and Texas OS/OW truck corridors. [Download the testimony PDF.]
The topic of creating OS/OW corridors is a tricky one, given the various and highly specific laws and exemptions to consider at the federal, state, and local levels as an OS/OW truck travels the state or the country with its cargo. Given our brisk trade over the Mexican border, Texas freight shippers must consider international laws as well.
Texas has worked with the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (WASHTO) to develop uniform OS/OW permitting practices among member states. For the remainder of the U.S., variations in state truck size and weight laws can make interstate movement of OS/OW loads complex and time-consuming. Federal truck size and weight laws and regulations provide national uniformity on the majority of the IH System. Federal exemptions allow certain states to operate heavier and larger trucks than Texas based on grand-fathered state laws allowed by the federal government. Lack of national uniformity may limit productivity and efficiency in truck freight movements from state to state and with our NAFTA partners.