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BENTLEY BILL OFFERS 'REASONABLE SOLUTION' TO OVERWEIGHT INTERMODAL CONTAINER HAZARD

 BENTLEY BILL OFFERS 'REASONABLE SOLUTION'
 TO OVERWEIGHT INTERMODAL CONTAINER HAZARD
 WASHINGTON, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Saying there is "no logical reason" for motor carriers to haul illegal overweight intermodal containers and trailers, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) today urged a House subcommittee to adopt H.R. 3598, the Intermodal Safe Container Transportation Act.
 The bill, introduced by Rep. Helen Bentley (R-Md.), "offers a reasonable solution to the problem of overweight containers and intermodal trailers," ATA President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said.
 Donohue appeared before the Surface Transportation Subcommittee of the House Public Works and Transportation Committee to give ATA's position on the various deregulation bills before Congress, the rate undercharge issue and the overweight container problem.
 The problem of overweight containers, Donohue said, is a continuing safety and economic concern for ATA and the trucking industry. Motor carriers have little way of knowing whether an intermodal shipment picked up at a port, rail yard or other intermodal facility is within federal highway weight limits. Up to now, this issue has been seen as a trucking industry problem because such containers and trailers become illegal only when transported on the highway.
 "When overweight containers travel on the highways, they violate the safety standards we have all worked so hard to create and enforce," Donohue told the subcommittee. "H.R. 3598 has the strong support of the trucking industry, steamship lines, railroads and port authorities."
 The bill would:
 -- Make the party loading the container and controlling its weight -- the shipper -- share responsibility for overloaded containers by requiring the shipper to inform the carrier of the weight and description of the cargo;
 -- Allows truckers to refuse an illegal overweight load;
 -- Holds carriers accountable, by penalizing truckers who haul a load without weight verification or knowingly haul an illegal overweight load;
 -- Makes shippers liable if they falsify weight records and provides a legal basis for shippers to share responsibility for overweight loads; and
 -- If a shipper falsely verifies an overweight load, allow a lien to be placed on the cargo for the amount of any fines and related costs.
 "Current highway weight laws are only designed to catch the overweight container when it is already on the road -- and already a safety risk," Donohue said. "With the enactment of H.R. 3598, this safety hazard can be stopped before it gets to our highways."
 -0- 3/31/92
 /CONTACT: Liz Healy of the American Trucking Associations, 703-838-1836/ CO: American Trucking Associations ST: District of Columbia IN: TRN SU: LEG


DC-MH -- DC029 -- 3595 03/31/92 16:56 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 31, 1992
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