In 2006, the American trucking Association (ATA) petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to require all large trucks to use a speed limiter. After five years adjusting regulations, the speed limiter was finally approved in January 2011. However, the regulations never went into full effect. The ATA is urging speed limiters once again.
Bill Graves, CEO and President of ATA, said, “We waited patiently until the government finally said in January 2011 they would move ahead with a speed limiter mandate, but this commonsense regulation has been mired in bureaucracy for over four years now. It is long past time for the NHTSA and FMCSA to move ahead with this rule.”
Speed limiters prevent accidents because they force truck drivers to keep their speed limit below a preset rate. For instance, the ATA wants all speed limiters to be set to 65 mph. They believe this would reduce fatal crashes by 18 percent. Additionally, it would cut down on the amount of accidents that are deemed the fault of a truck driver. Over 30 percent of fatal crashes are caused by high speeds.
Several states have recently raised their top speed limits to 70, 75, and even 80 mph because that is what drivers are driving anyway. The ATA believes these limits are reckless and not appropriate for truck drivers. However, the new speed rules could be one factor that is holding back widespread use and regulation of truck speed limiters. The ATA is pushing hard.
To date, about 70 percent of trucking companies use speed limiters. The ATA does not think this is enough. They think speed limiters should be mandated by the government on all distribution trucks and also checked. It’s possible that fees will be put in place for trucking companies who do not comply with speed limiters in the future.