Mainers have always appreciated courage and leadership when it comes to shaping public policy that impacts our safety. Recently, we are reminded of such qualities, as Sen. Susan Collins co-sponsored the introduction of legislation that would immediately improve the safety of Maine’s secondary roads by increasing the weight limit for six-axle trucks on the entire interstate system so that it is closer to the state limits.

This bill is the companion to the one that Congressman Mike Michaud introduced in 2009 as a way to discontinue commercial truck diversion from our busy cities and towns and put them on the roads that are best designed to handle them — the interstate.

There is also significant effort under way relative to a federally approved truck-weight pilot project for Maine and Vermont that is set to expire in December if it isn’t extended or made permanent. Unfortunately, there are members of Congress from other states who are using misguided and misleading arguments on this Maine issue that has a proven track record of enhancing safety, improving our state’s regional economic disadvantage and results in a healthier environment, all while reducing the freight footprint on our roads and bridges.

The good news for Maine is that we have a congressional delegation that consistently displays both leadership and courage on this issue and they deserve thanks and encouragement for the political challenges to come.

Brian Parke, Brunswick

President and CEO, Maine Motor Transport Association

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