October 23, 2011
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont officials are disputing a federally sponsored study that shows fatal accidents involving big trucks tripled when weight limits were raised for interstate travel from 80,000 to 99,000 pounds.
The tripling was from one death in 2009 to three in 2010. Vermont officials say the numbers are too small to be meaningful - and that non-fatal injuries from crashes involving heavy trucks declined during a 1-year study.
The study comes amid debate over whether such heavy trucks should be allowed on the interstates or should be kept on slower state roads.
Chris Cole of Vermont's Agency of Transportation says neighboring states already allow the bigger trucks without the special permits that Vermont requires. That puts Vermont at a competitive disadvantage, he said.
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