Newly Introduced Bill Would Require “Speed Limiters” In Big Rigs
Washington D.C. – The push to require speed limiters in commercial trucks is back on after bi-partisan legislation was introduced into the U.S. Senate on Thursday that would do just that.
According to a release, U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, (R-GA) and Chris Coons, (D-DE), introduced the Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019, S.2033.
The legislation would require all new commercial trucks with a gross weight of 26,001 pounds or more to be equipped with speed-limiting devices, which must be set to a maximum speed of 65 miles per hour and be used at all times while in operation.
The maximum speed requirement would also be extended to existing trucks that already have the technology installed.
Trucks without speed limiters will not be forced to retroactively install the technology, the release said.
“The majority of trucks on our roads already have speed-limiting technology built in, and the rest of the technologically advanced world has already put them to use to ensure drivers follow safe speeds,” said Isakson. “This legislation would officially enforce a long-awaited speed limit of 65 mph on large trucks and reduce the number of preventable fatalities on our busy roadways.”
“I am pleased to introduce legislation with him that will help reduce accidents on our roadways by requiring the use of speed limiting technology in large trucks – a step that many companies have already taken to promote safety and fuel efficiency,” Coons said.
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The legislation also establishes that all large trucks manufactured after the effective date will be equipped with speed-limiting technology.
Further, within six months of enactment, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) must establish standards and rules to ensure that the speed-limiting technology on large trucks is accurate and that the trucks adhere to a maximum speed no faster than 65 mph.
Supporters of the legislation argue the “speed-limiter rule” would have minimal cost, as most heavy trucks already have these devices installed, although some vehicles do not have the 65 mph limit set.
Further, supporters point to DOT findings that the rule would decrease the estimated 1,115 fatal crashes a year involving vehicles with a weight of 26,000 pounds or more on roads with posted speed limits of 55 mph or more.
Trucking industry stakeholders such as the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) and the Trucking Alliance are listed as supporters of the legislation.
Others supporting the measure include: Road Safe America, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) Foundation, Parents Against Tired Truckers, and the Truck Safety Coalition.
Stay with TransportationNation.com for more reaction from around the industry on this developing story.