Speed limiters for heavy trucks: the debate continues
The American Trucking Associations and safety group Road Safe America supported the required speed limiters for trucks, buses and passenger vehicles.
In their letter to Transport Secretary Pete Buttigiech, ATA and Road Safe America cited technological advances in driver safety and that speed regulation could be addressed with “21st century solution to ensure for maximum adaptability.”
Since 2012, ATA has maintained a maximum speed limit of 65 mph for Class 7 and 8 trucks manufactured after 1992. In 2019, ATA supported a speed limiter bill, as did the Trucking Alliance. The Alliance noted that the speed limit for trucks does not compromise the drivers’ safety.
At the same time, The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) sent a reaction letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation. It notes that speed limiters will have extremely negative consequences.
The speed differentials between trucks and cars can cause more traffic jams and accidents on the roads. Besides that, it will be more difficult for truck drivers maneuver and change lanes in order to accommodate merging traffic. These things make roads less safe.
“Studies and research have already proven what we were all taught long ago in driver’s ed classes – traffic is safest when vehicles travel at the same relative speed,” said OOIDA President Todd Spencer.
Mandatory speed limiters have been widely expected to come up as an issue under the new Democratic Biden administration.