After failing to get two previous presidential administrations to require trucks to set their speed limiter devices to 65 mph, safety lobbyists are bypassing regulators and taking their case to the new Congress instead.
A coalition led by Road Safe America and the Truck Safety Coalition is using crash statistics and an economic business case to try and convince lawmakers to pass legislation requiring that all heavy-duty trucks use speed limiters as well as install automatic emergency braking (AEB), reports FreighWaves.
Currently, Ontario and Quebec are the only jurisdictions in North America to require trucks operating in those territories to have speed limiters installed.
“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,” Road Safe America president Steve Owings told FreightWaves.
“Certainly an infrastructure bill could be a good vehicle for this. But since 2006 we’ve been through Republican and Democratic administrations oversee a rulemaking that has been stuck in limbo at the Department of Transportation, so we also think the president could just ask DOT why they haven’t done this yet, and tell them go do it.”
In 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a joint notice of proposed rulemaking regarding speed limiting devices for large trucks that received more than 2,000 public comments. “The agency continues to review these comments and determine its next steps,” an FMCSA official told FreightWaves.
In a letter sent yesterday to each member in the House and Senate, the safety coalition stated that while speed limiters have been standard in most heavy commercial trucks since the mid-1990s, the United States – unlike Australia, Germany, France, Japan and the United Kingdom – don’t require that they be turned on and set.
The group points to an FMCSA study that found trucks not using their speed limiters had a 200 percent higher highway-speed crash rate compared to trucks using speed limiters.
The American Trucking Associations (ATA), which advocates for larger carriers, has supported requiring speed limiters set at 65 mph for trucks built after 1992 – but only if nationwide speed limits for both cars and trucks are set at 65 mph as well.
Full story here.