Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wants to push forward federal rules for installations of electronic speed-governing limiters on trucks and buses.
“Requiring electronic speed limiters on large trucks would save lives, prevent injuries, make our roadways safer - by preventing high speed damage,” Schumer said during a press conference in New York last week.
A proposal from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in August suggests that limits of 60, 65 or 68 mph would be beneficial for trucking safety.
Limiting speeds would be accomplished by requiring a speed-governing device for all new vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating more than 26,000 lbs.
“For every Long Island driver who has been next to or in the crosshairs of a speeding big rig, a technology like this can’t come fast enough,” Schumer says in a press release. “Trucks, and large buses that barrel down our roads unsafely put everyone in danger, but now that we have a sensible technology that can make extreme truck and bus speeds a thing of the past, we must push the feds to accelerate its swift adoption.”
Several trucking organizations are opposed to the measure. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), has issued a press release critical of the proposal.
“Such a mandate would have serious consequences such as promoting road rage among other motorists and creating “rolling roadblocks” of trucks on highways,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA.
“Many states that used to have lower, separate speed limits for trucks have realized this was not the best idea and changed their policies to the same speed limit for all vehicles.” “Highways are safest when all vehicles travel at the same relative speed,” said Spencer. “This wisdom is backed by science.”
Trucking trade paper Transport Topics reports, American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear has been critical of the proposal, calling it “flawed” because it would create differential speeds along highways. “Proposing a rule that does not take into account the various differentials in speed between what this rule proposes and what state speed limits are is dangerous.”