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Letter: Our roads are becoming as dangerous as rail lines

Our roads are becoming as dangerous as rail lines

A Jan. 7 News editorial titled, “Safety shunted aside,” states that railroad trains are vulnerable to accidents, because safety issues are put on hold. I totally agree.

What it didn’t talk about is that tractor-trailer tankers are now being loaded with Bakken crude oil in Hamburg. These tanker trucks hold about 9,000 gallons of oil. A railroad tanker car can hold up to 30,000 gallons of oil or some other liquid chemical. That means it will take three truckloads to move that amount of oil on our highways.

According to the Federal Motor-Carrier Safety Administration, in 2012 there were 3,802 large trucks involved in fatal crashes. One of the main problems with tractor-trailer tankers is the center of gravity with their liquid cargo. The center of gravity changes around turns, but also on straight runs; even moving from one lane to another can cause a tanker to roll over.

Our streets are getting just as dangerous as the rail lines. Who knows how many tractor-trailer tanker trucks will be on our roads in the near future? The oil companies just want to ship the Bakken crude oil and make a profit. They don’t care about the rails or the roads.

Frank J. Gage