Recently, a Texas lawmaker introduced a bill that would allow overweight trucks to pay an $80 fee and enter the United States overweight without a fine. The purpose of the bill is to allow truckers from Mexico to avoid having to lighten their load before crossing into United States. Mexico allows heavier trucks on its roadways than does the United States.
Apparently, many truck drivers Mexico would stop to lighten their load prior to crossing into the United States. The bill seeks to avoid such delay on the part of the Mexican truck drivers in exchange for a $80 fee.
The $80 fee under the proposed bill would be used to pay for road maintenance caused by the heavy trucks. The majority of the trucks affected would be those carrying produce in the United States. According to a Texas official, the $80 fee would cover the costs of road repair by the heavier trucks.
The bill passed the House last Thursday and a similar bill has been filed in the Senate but has not been approved at this time. While the bill clearly makes economic sense for the truck driver should Mexico, there are other considerations for weight of vehicles other than damage to the highways.
The issue is further compounded by the lack of maintenance that accompanies many vehicles that are not originated in the United States. An overloaded vehicle and poor maintenance is a prescription for disaster for innocent people on the highway.
I would urge Texas lawmakers to consider all avenues of safety when considering these bills. While the economic impact should be considered, the safety of Texas families needs to be the primary consideration for our Texas leaders.