Agency Targets Speeding Trucks And Buses

On behalf of Winters & Yonker, P.A. posted in Truck accidents on Friday, August 26, 2016.

Semi trucks, buses and other large vehicles pose a danger to smaller vehicles. Larger vehicles stop more slowly and do considerably more damage in a collision than ordinary passenger cars. For that reason, a bus or commercial truck going over the speed limit is a particular concern. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have joined together to propose a solution that would cap the speed of these vehicles. Semis, buses and other vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds would have to be equipped with electronic speed limiters preventing them from traveling faster than a designated speed to be determined.

This is not the first time the government has sought to limit the speeds of large vehicles. As with earlier proposals, this one is likely to draw heavy criticism from some within the trucking industry. Capping the speed of big rigs is considered unnecessary by many truck drivers, and potentially dangerous by others.

It is true that speed differential, that is the difference between the fastest vehicles on the road and the slowest, is a known contributor to accidents. It is dangerous to travel much faster or much slower than the traffic around you. If semi trucks are limited to 60 mph, they could face increased risk of collision on roads where cars are often traveling in excess of 70 mph. The limiters would also have no impact on trucks and buses traveling too quickly on roads with speed limits below 55 mph.

The NHTSA and FMCSA believe that the data supports the position that speed limiters will decrease highway fatalities and improve fuel economy. The proposal will remain open for 60 days, during which the public is allowed to comment. If the proposal finally makes its way into FMCSA guidelines, it could significantly change the way buses and trucks operate on American highways.

Source: CBS Boston, “US Wants To Force Lower Speeds On Truck And Bus Drivers,” by Tom Krisher, 26 August 2016

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