Two U.S. Senators Are Proposing 65 MPH Limiters on Heavy Trucks
On June 27, 2019, two U.S. Senators introduced proposals to limit the speed of heavy trucks to 65 mph. It represented support of a petition by the non-profit organization Road Safe America. The group is seeking legislation that would require new commercial trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds to be equipped with speed limiters set at a maximum speed of 65 miles per hour.
The organization’s president is Steve Owings. For Owings, getting this legislation enacted is personal. His son was killed seventeen years ago when his car, stopped in traffic, was hit by a speeding tractor-trailer. Working in coalition with another group called the Truck Safety Coalition, Owings has been trying over the last three administrations to get Congress to enact the law.
“We’re very dissatisfied from what we’ve gotten from DOT [the U.S. Department of Transportation] in the last 12 years, so we’re hoping Congress, or even President Trump himself, will get this thing done,” stated Owings.
The Limiters Would Save Lives
Owings states that there are, on average, over 1,000 crashes every day involving big trucks. “Most of these cause an enormous traffic jam that’s extremely negative to the trucking industry. This regulation pays for itself by reducing accidents, traffic jams, and the gas that’s wasted in lost productivity”.
This Congress May NOW be Receptive To A Limiter Bill.
Supporters believe Congress could now be ready to enact a limiter law. Both parties are desirous to pass an infrastructure bill which could easily include this law as an amendment to that bill.
Limiters Are Already Available in Most Trucks
It’s somewhat surprising to anyone who doesn’t work in trucking to find out that speed limiters have been standard in most heavy commercial trucks throughout the world since the mid-1990s. However, while their use is required in such countries as Australia, Germany, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom, laws in the United States do not require that they are turned on and set.
The Trucking Industry Supports Limiters Only If…..
The American Trucking Association (ATA) supports speed limiters set at 65 mph for trucks built after 1992 if nationwide speed limits for both cars and trucks are set at 65 mph as well. Their qualified support is based on the opinion that a speed limiter requirement would “result in wide divergences between the speed of trucks equipped with speed limiters and that of prevailing traffic, depending on local speed limits,” and thus creating the potential for more safety hazards.
At DriverSource, safety will ALWAYS be our top priority. We support any legislation that will improve the safety of all vehicles on the road. We know that fatalities can occur when a heavy truck collides with a car. This legislation may go a long way towards reducing those fatalities while improving safety on our highways.