PEORIA — Mr. Fengel went to Washington to talk to lawmakers about really big trucks.
Brian Fengel, Bartonville's police chief and the head of the President of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, went to the nation's capitol to meet with members of Illinois Congressional delegation Wednesday in the hopes of convincing them not to back proposals increasing the weight limits and the sizes of semi trucks.
Some ideas that have gained traction in Congress are to require states to allow longer double-trailer trucks that are 17 feet longer than the current 53-foot single-trailer trucks, according to the Coalition Against Big Trucks, of which Fengel is a member. Another measure is to increase increase national truck weights from the standard 80,000 pounds to 91,000 pounds.
"Some of these trucks cannot clear intersections because their turning radius is too wide, while others have difficulty staying in their lanes. Even more concerning is that some of these trucks have a hard time braking in time at stoplights, especially at pedestrian crossings."
He also pointed out heavier payloads can cause more damage to the nation's infrastructure and cited Federal Highway Administration data stating that almost half of Illinois' bridges are in fair or poor condition.
"Law enforcement officers at a national state and local levels are urging urging Congress to reject proposals for heavier and longer trucks. These officers base their opposition to bigger trucks on years of professional training and real world experience in commercial vehicle enforcement and crash investigations," he said.