My Pet Monster (truck)

It is 9 feet high, 21 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, 7 tons, can carry nearly 6 tons in load, and gets 8 miles per gallon…“It” is the new International CXT. In fact, the CXT has a gross vehicle weight rating of 25,999 (compared to the Hummer’s 10,300 lbs.) which is exactly, and purposely, one pound under the 26,000 GVWR minimum requiring a commercial driver’s license.

Since the popularity of these behemoths appears to be feverishly expanding, I find it appropriate to transcend the obvious gas-guzzling and pure absurdity objections. First, should there be (is there already?) an extra tax or registration fee (both?) on these and alike vehicles simply due to the enormous wear and tear they will inflict on the roads? There is a “toll” in toll roads because it makes sense to tax the drivers who use those particular paths for transportation. So, should governments charge an extra fee for vehicles that will be unnecessary burdens on the health of public roads?

Second, think about it, the GVWR is one pound away from requiring a commercial driver’s license…immediately one word comes to mind: safety. The driver and passengers of the CXT will survive almost any natural and/or man-caused disaster, but what about other drivers, as well as the property boarding the roads? Imagine what one of these mammoth trucks will do when it crashes into a Cavalier, Camry, a pickup truck, or even a concrete barrier. Besides celebrities and people infatuated with over-compensation, International plans to market this vehicle to business owners who will be able to write this vehicle off as a tax break. Therefore, or perhaps regardless of that fact, I wonder, can Congress utilize the Commerce Clause - a clause that has historically been stretched to its limits - to regulate who (meaning which driver’s license is required) can legally drive the CXT? If not the Commerce Clause, is there another avenue government can appeal to in order to address this issue. Should the government even bother?

-- Steve Cieslewicz

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