Monday, June 24, 2024

Morena lawmakers move to ban double semi-trailers

Double semi-trailers could become a thing of the past on the roads of Mexico if lawmakers from President López Obrador’s Morena party get their way.

Francisco Javier Borrego Adame, a deputy from Coahuila, presented a draft decree to the lower house of Congress yesterday that seeks to ban double semis on the basis that they place the lives of other motorists at risk.

Outlawing the extra-heavy vehicles requires an amendment to article 50 of the Federal Law on Roads, Bridges and Motor Transportation.

The draft legislation has been sent to the communications and transport committee of the Chamber of Deputies, which Borrego heads.

The lawmaker said that under the law as it currently stands, double semi-trailers that are longer than those in other countries and carry heavier loads are allowed to travel on the nation’s roads.

“Double semi-trailers up to 32.5 meters in length . . . carrying almost 75.5 tonnes are allowed. That’s why when braking [is required], the driver can’t stop in time,” he said.

“Compared to the standards of other countries, it’s too much. For example, Canada sets a 50-tonne load limit for a vehicle of a maximum length of 25 meters while in Germany, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Italy and Switzerland it’s 43 tonnes in units that don’t exceed 20 meters in length,” Borrego added.

He also said that the loads carried by double semis in Mexico often exceed the weight allowed by law, not only increasing the risk of accidents but also placing greater strain on roads and the vehicle’s engine, which in turn generates more pollution.

Borrego said that it was regrettable that for 10 years lawmakers in both houses of Congress have attempted to ban double-semi trailers without actually doing so.

In 2016, the Center for Legislative Studies on Ground Transportation, a civil organization, took legal action to try to limit semi tractors to towing only one trailer, claiming that double trailers are a “time bomb.”

Last year, 26 people were killed in a fiery head-on collision in Guerrero between a bus and a double semi-trailer after which there were renewed calls to ban the extra-heavy trucks.

Around 45,000 double semi-trailers are estimated to be in operation on Mexico’s roads, a figure which represents 10% of all tractor-trailers.

Source: El Financiero (sp), El Universal (sp) 

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