There are "dirty little secrets" in the new 2014 transportation bill that Congress doesn't want you to know about.
The new programs that are being passed around in this bill are larger weight limits for trucks, Vehicle Miles Traveled or VTMs, a straight sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel. And, oh yes, it would not be complete without the all new vehicle's rule passed in the current transportation bill MAP-21 of requiring all of the new vehicles sold after 2014 to have onboard recording devices for safety.
Congress has even let some states place tollbooths on the current highway system that collect tolls for your traveling on a highway system that was already paid for by our tax dollars.
By increasing the weight limits for the trucking industry only serves the trucking companies by allowing them to increase their hauling weight, plus increase the length from 54 inches to 67 inches.
This means you will be seeing triple-trailers being pulled by a single tractor on our highways. I don't know about you, but I for one feel this is not something the transportation committee should be looking at. Our highways and bridges could not stand the increased weight, as the federal Department of Transportation has already stated, 70 percent of the bridges in the United States are deficient. The highways we travel on every day are crumbling around us, and the states don't have the funds to repair them or replace them. This issue is a "no vote" from me.
The GPS that Congress would like to see in all new vehicles would also cover the VTM portion of the new bill. The states would have the means to download your information either at the point-of-sale or at a checkpoint of their choosing, so you could be charged your fair share of a road use tax. This would be paid to the state at the time of download. There is no way I'm going to let the government have my personal information to do with whatever they want. On this, issue I vote "no."
A straight sales tax on gasoline and diesel fuel would put a burden on an overtaxed community already. The ones that would be affected the most by this would be the elderly and the people on fixed incomes. They would have to decide between buying gas for the car or buying food for the table or medicine that they might need. Once again, on this issue, I would vote "no."
These are just a few of the things that the Transportation Committee has been talking about in its meetings. I can assure you there are many more issues, and you all need to know that some of these will finally become law. It's time for everyone to take a stand and let yourself be heard.