GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (2/22/2019) - Grand Blanc Township Police Chief Ron Wiles traveled to Washington, D.C. last week to lobby Michigan Congressional leaders.
He explained companies like Amazon, FedEx and UPS are looking to create bigger trucks, likely to carry and deliver more goods at one time. But, he said, larger semis will pose a danger to Michigan drivers.
"They're bigger, they're heavier, they're still going the same speed as everyone else," he said. "You get something that big, that heavy, going 70 miles an hour on the expressway or 55 miles an hour down Dort Highway and they hit something, it's gonna be severe and we certainly want to reduce those occurrences of that happening."
The Chief said studies show semi trucks are already more frequently involved in traffic crashes and he says many of those are deadly -- something his officers often see on I-75 and I-475 in Grand Blanc Township.
Plus, Chief Wiles is concerned about the state's already deteriorating infrastructure.
He said larger trucks will only make our long-standing pothole issue worse, and not just on the highways; because he said, those semis often make their way through town.
The Chief made the trip last week on behalf of the Michigan Association of Police Chiefs. As an executive member with a strong interest in the issue, he was chosen to make their stance known.
He said he had a great discussion with several congressional committees, along with Michigan lawmakers and their staffs.
"Luckily, right now, on this issue, there is no bill out there. This was strictly to provide information," the Chief explained. "So, when that happens, when a bill does come and they come periodically yearly, every other year, just that hey the Michigan Chiefs, they're opposed to this, that was their concerns and it's something for them to consider when they do vote, if a vote comes up."
The Chief added if a bill is brought up, he could be called back to the Capitol to speak with those same lawmakers for more discussions.