One of the considerations in the highway reauthorization bill being debated in the U.S. Congress is allowing states to levy tolls on nonturnpike interstates. Not surprisingly, the American Trucking Associations (www.truckline.org), among other groups, is opposed to this proposal.
The ATA cites a study of tolls on I-81 in Virginia that indicates that with a 20-cents-per-mile toll, 50% of trucks using the interstate would divert to other roads. “Traffic diversion reduces safety because of additional miles traveled and greater accident exposure,” the ATA asserts.
“Some politicians think the best way to maintain the highway system is through tolls,” says Leo Suggs, chairman and CEO of national less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier Overnite Transportation Co. (www.overnite.com). “The industry recognizes that we need to pay our way. We would be willing to consider paying our way through fuel taxes, which we have done in the past. But the politicians say that they are committed to no new taxes — but they don't consider tolls to be taxes. That's ludicrous.”
See what else Suggs and other national LTL executives have to say about the state of the LTL industry in the article on p. 20. LT