GLTPA Applauds Safe Routes Act Legislation Introduction

Wed April 28, 2021
Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association

The Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA) commended Congressman Mike Gallagher (R) Green Bay, Wis., for his persistence to create a safer environment for local communities and truck drivers with the re-introduction of the Safe Routes Act, H.R. 2213 of 2021. "The Safe Routes Act, H.R. 2213 of 2021 provides drivers of product-specific, specialized log trucks a choice of routes by allowing them access to the interstate highway system when available," said GLTPA President Matt Jensen.

When passed by Congress, the Safe Routes Act, H.R. 2213, will allow drivers of state weight-compliant log trucks the option of avoiding urban streets and highways where pedestrian activity is ongoing all hours of the day.

Log truck drivers throughout the nation are restricted, under certain conditions, from utilizing the interstate highway systems designed to transport heavy military equipment. This restriction forces drivers to travel on city, town and rural haul routes. Being forced to secondary haul routes increases truck driver exposure to automobiles, bicyclists and pedestrians. In addition to increased pedestrian exposure, driver hours of service are increased, adding to driver fatigue which is something concerned safety groups say they would like to see lessened for drivers.

In addition to reducing driver hours and fatigue, the Safe Routes Act, H.R. 2213 also reduces the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT). VMT is a measurement used to determine the number of projected accidents based on the number of vehicle miles traveled within a given time frame. Interstate routes are typically shorter and more efficient than secondary routes. As such, fewer miles traveled results in fewer projected accidents, which is promoted by industry and safety advocates alike.

"The Safe Routes Act, H.R. 2213 of 2021, is simplistic legislation which will have an enormous positive impact on safety for both pedestrians and log truck drivers nationwide," said Henry Schienebeck, GLTPA executive director. "In addition to added safety, local routes will see a decrease in traffic, which could lead to increased road life. Along with all the states who are members of the American Loggers Council and Forest Resources Association, Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association fully supports this narrowly focused yet meaningful safety legislation."