State officials say Eastern Kentucky roadways are safer with coal trucks following weight limit laws.
But a house bill proposal could create a loophole for them to legally carry thousands more pounds on the roads.
Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement officers say they've seen a difference since they started cracking down on overweight coal trucks several years ago.
"One thing we have noticed since then is fewer safety violations on these trucks," says KVE Officer Jamie Collins. "And a reduction in fatality accidents involving coal trucks."
But a bill in the house could allow trucks to go back to the old ways. The bill proposes a permit to allow coal trucks to haul more weight if they have more axles...sometimes up to 54 thousand more pounds.
KVE officers aren't taking a position on the bill, but did tell us the pro's and con's of more axles on the trucks.
"Adding extra axles to trucks to help distribute the weight onto the highway and distribute the weight on certain parts of the truck." says Collins.
But sometimes heavier loads cause safety problems.
"The more weight these trucks carry, it's harder also for them to maintain certain speeds up a hill." says Collins. "Other motorists on the same highway don't realize how slow these trucks are going up hills, there's usually rear-end collisions."
With safety on the line, house transportation committee chairman Hubert Collins says he doesn't think the bill will move forward.
Representatives Keith Hall and Teddy Edmonds are sponsoring the bill in the house. Neither were available for comment Monday afternoon.