STAFF CONTACT :
The Business Council of New York State, whose membership includes nearly 4,000 member firms as well as over one hundred 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 by 2007. The bill also provides a uniform and equitable statewide penalty schedule for violations of New York State weight laws, eliminates the wide disparities in weights and penalties between regions in the state, and strives to protect 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.
In May of this year the statutory limit on the number of divisible load permits allowed by law was unexpectedly reached. 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. Nearly 80% of all permits are used for local transport of construction materials such as asphalt, stone and concrete. About 10% of these permits are used in the transport of logs from the forest to rail sidings; the remaining 10% are used to transport products such as milk, oil and freight. 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 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. This bills also requires additional safety equipment on permitted trucks.
For the reasons articulated above, we support the legislation and advocate for its passage.