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I wonder how big a part higher fuel prices are playing in this push to cut costs?

Julie in Boise

I'm sure that's a huge part of the equation, especially since diesel prices have been higher than gasoline.

But the costs to public safety (and to roadways) need to be considered, too.


What we really need is some kind of objective measure of the safety (or lack thereof) of these trucks. Do crashes involving them tend to cause more fatalities? More severe injuries? More costly damage to roadways and surrounding property?

On the other hand, if it uses less fuel, it also creates fewer emissions. It could be that these trucks could be used to more efficiently distribute goods around our country.

How do we really know?

Julie in Boise

Good points all, Sara. As for safety, I'd put a lot of credence in what truckers - and other drivers - say. I have been on I-84 with the 75-foot-long saddlemounts, and they definitely do sway a lot in the southern Idaho wind. Unfortunately, the new, even-longer trucks may be too new to really have any sort of safety record.

The whole issue of saving fuel (and curbing emissions) is powerful. But I think safety has to be the highest value in this equation, and the profit motive ought to be the lowest. Given the lopsided Idaho Legislature vote on the matter, I fear the legislature - including the Democrats - failed the "due dilligence" test on this issue.

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