The Business Council of New York State, whose membership includes nearly 3,600 member firms as well as hundreds of chambers of commerce and professional trade associations, has reviewed the above mentioned legislation and supports its enactment.
This bill will increase the number of divisible load permits allowed under the vehicle and traffic law from the current level of 17,000 to 25,000 over a period of five years. The bill also provides a uniform and equitable statewide penalty schedule for violations of New York State weight laws and protects the local and state highway and bridge infrastructure through the addition of new axle requirements and safety equipment. The legislation is balanced and inclusive of many of the concerns of both the state and localities, as well as the trucking industry.
The need for additional permits is of grave concern to the shipping and trucking industries, the industrial and commercial customers they serve, and the private sector transportation system in New York State overall. The need for permits is crucial to the delivery of goods and commodities in the construction, logging, agriculture and other shipping industries. This legislation effectively provides a long term solution to this shortage of permits by gradually increasing the number available to the trucking industry in this state. The addition of new permits, issued by the Department of Transportation, is greatly needed in these sectors. It should be noted that this bill does not require additional permits for New York City - which are issued by the New York City Department of Transportation - not the state DOT.
The legislation is also cognizant of the state's highway and bridge infrastructure. The new system phases in an increase in the number of axles required on trucks that are issued a divisible permit and has immediate safety application to all vehicles utilizing the new 7-axle 117,000 lbs permit. This bills also requires additional safety equipment on permitted trucks.
For the reasons articulated above, we support the legislation and advocate for its passage.