Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

February 23, 2014

In Your View

ASHLAND — Increased truck weight opposed

The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that would raise amount of weight allowed for semi-trailer trucks hauling poultry, livestock and agricultural products from 80,000 pounds to 88,000 pounds. The bill now is in the House of Representatives

The increased weight would have a substantial, negative impact on our roads and bridges, our state and local budgets and, most importantly, our safety.

The bill, SB 44, uses language that sounds rather harmless, referring to the 8,000 extra pounds as a “10-percent variance” in truck weight, but let me assure you: these heavier trucks would endanger Kentuckians, period. That’s why I’m speaking out.

As president of the Kentucky Ambulance Providers Association, I know first hand the impact of big rigs on Kentucky motorists. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 2,541 large-truck crashes in Kentucky in 2012 resulting in and, regrettably, 82 fatalities. To emergency responders, the thought of adding up to four tons to these trucks’ weight does not make sense.

More than 95 percent of law enforcement officers said in a recent analysis that adding more weight to semi-trailer trucks makes them more dangerous. Like EMS personnel, these aren’t corporations with an economic interest in the outcome of this bill; these are the men and women who keep us safe, protect us, and are looking out for the best interests of each of us.

The 2014 state budget shortfall is projected to be nearly a half-billion dollars. That’s a half-billion dollars we don’t have to repair the roads and bridges already damaged.

Allowing 44-ton trucks on our underfunded roads and bridges just so some business interests can haul their loads at cheaper rates sounds an awful lot like a subsidy paid for by Kentucky taxpayers—and at the expense of our safety.

We can’t afford to compromise the safety of Kentuckians.

Thomas Adams, Executive director, Boyd County EMS, Ashland

Text Only
Opinion
  • PAUL CHITWOOD: Ruling on same-sex marriage defies state constitution

    News that U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn once again usurped the will of Kentucky voters is tragic and disappointing. By declaring gay marriage legal in the commonwealth, Heyburn defied the essential, foundational governing document that ensures order and justice, the Constitution of Kentucky.

    July 8, 2014

  • More difficult

    In a state like Kentucky with the number of adults who have not graduated from high school is much higher than the national average, undereducated adults have been encouraged to earn high-school equivalency degrees by studying for, taking and passing the General Educational Development (GED) test.

    May 22, 2014

  • Primary election sends messages

    The voters — or at least the minority who took the time to go to the polls Tuesday — have spoken, with Boyd County voters sending mixed messages in the county-wide races that gathered the most attention.

    May 21, 2014

  • Click it or Ticket

    "Click it or Ticket” is a phrase used so often in recent years most of us hardly give it a thought.

    May 21, 2014

  • Top trooper

    Thumbs up to Trooper First Class Shane Goodall of Flatwoods for being named 2013 Trooper of the Year for Kentucky.

    May 20, 2014

  • 05/18/2014 — This Week in the Tri-State

    Local news

    May 18, 2014

  • Magolene S. Fraley 1929-2014

    Magolene Spears Fraley, 84, of Wurtland, died Saturday in Community Hospice Care Center in Ashland.

    May 17, 2014

  • Business grant

    Morehead State graduate student Kayla Keeton, who received her undergraduate degree from MSU last spring and is now studying for her MBA at the school, has received a $5,111 grant from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to help her start Belles of the Bluegrass, a high-tech wedding planning business.

    May 16, 2014

  • Recovery Fest celebrates kicking addiction

    The wet weather no doubt impacted the size of the crowd at Saturday’s Recovery Fest 2014 at Veterans Riverfront Park in Ashland, but there were plenty of reasons for addicts who are now drug free to celebrate and for speakers like State Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, and others to talk about the impact the prescription drug epidemic has had on this region and for others to distribute literature and offer words of encouragement that could convince some to seek help in their battle with their drug addictions.

    May 13, 2014

  • In Your View 5/13/14

    Letters to the editor:

    May 13, 2014