January 28, 2021

Trucks on wrong roads

The recent crash of a tractor-trailer rig on Summer Street in Bangor should never have happened. This is not because of anything the driver, owner or other vehicle operator did, but because this truck should not have been there in the first place.

This happened to be a trash truck, but most large trucks you see on these secondary roads are there because the large amount of weight they are hauling keeps them from using the interstate.

The federal government, in its usual illogical way of formulating rules, refuses to allow trucks exceeding 80,000 pounds to use I-95 north of Augusta. South of Augusta, the weight limit is 100,000 pounds. This forces these heavy vehicles onto rural and urban two-lane highways complete with slow-moving cars, school buses, school zones, private homes and intersections.

Vehicles of this size and weight should be on the interstate whenever possible, and whatever officials are standing in the way of this should re-evaluate their logic and justification.

When the big one finally happens, and it will, there will be an outcry over why this truck was on the secondary roads in the first place. After the usual finger-pointing and blame game, someone with sufficient sense, authority and backbone will force a change in the rules.

But just maybe this big one won’t happen because the rule will have already changed and that particular truck will have made it to its destination without incident by using the interstate.

Jim Hodges


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