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Roger F. Wicker

Senate: Longer double trailers for trucks must be safe

The Senate went on record Tuesday against a federal mandate that would force all states to allow trucks with extra-long double trailers on interstates, saying it first must be shown that the vehicles don't undermine safety.

By a vote of 56-31, the Senate instructed negotiators assigned to work out the final language of a sweeping transportation bill to allow individual trailer lengths to increase from 28 feet to 33 feet only after the Transportation Department completes a safety study and determines the trucks would cause no statistically significant decrease in safety.

Earlier this year, a Senate committee approved an amendment to a separate spending bill requiring all...