FMCSA to resume work on speed limiters soon
The Federal Highway Traffic Safety Administration will pursue a number of speed limiter proposals.
The agency said it “intends to proceed with a motor carrier-based speed limiter rulemaking” with a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking expected to be published in the Federal Register by June 30, 2023.
Earlier this year, FMCSA revived a 2016 notice of proposed rulemaking that, at the time, was a joint rulemaking with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This time around, only FMCSA proposed speed limiters.
FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson said that speed limiters are definitely important for safety. The data shows that speed is an indicator of whether or not someone dies or is seriously injured in the accident.
Hutcheson said the agency is currently reviewing more than 15,000 comments that were submitted to a notice of intent earlier this year.
A majority of the received comments came from truckers, who argued against speed limiters by pointing out that they could cause more road rage incidents while also increasing the risk of crashes. Others said that trucking is already over-regulated and that the federal government’s meddling is having a detrimental effect on the industry. Some commenters also asked for better enforcement on passenger vehicle drivers for improved highway safety.
Trucking groups like the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) oppose speed limiters because “studies have demonstrated that a higher variance of vehicle speeds in traffic flow increases the risk of an accident, and speed limiters cause speed variance.”
The FMCSA is considering the mandatory introduction of speed limiters on trucks equipped with electronic control units (ECUs) capable of regulating speed. The speed limit that will be set for these trucks has not yet been determined.