Bus/limo/taxi Transportation Trucking

Proposed rule would place speed limiters on large commercial vehicles

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Photo: WendellandCarolyn/iStockphoto

Washington – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have announced a proposed rule that would require the installation of speed-limiting devices on trucks, buses and multipurpose passenger vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds.

The proposed rule, announced Aug. 26, suggests that capping speeds at 60, 65 or 68 mph could prevent fatal crashes while saving an estimated $1.1 billion in fuel costs annually. The maximum set travel speed would be adjusted after officials weigh public comment on the proposal.

“There are significant safety benefits to this proposed rulemaking,” Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said in a press release. “In addition to saving lives, the projected fuel and emissions savings make this proposal a win for safety, energy conservation, and our environment.”

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind and FMCSA Administrator T.F. Scott Darling III also expressed support for the proposal.

“Safe trucking moves our economy and safe bus operations transport our loved ones,” Darling said in the DOT press release. “This proposal will save lives while ensuring that our nation’s fleet of large commercial vehicles operates efficiently.”

In a statement issued Aug. 17, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), a longtime supporter of the proposed rule, cited federal data showing an estimated 1,115 fatal crashes involving large trucks occur every year. “Each day that has passed that this commonsense safety measure has been delayed by bureaucratic processes is one too many,” Isakson said in the statement.

Isakson issued an amendment earlier this year that was included in the Senate-passed transportation funding measure. It required the Secretary of Transportation to make a final ruling on speed-limiting devices by no later than six months after its potential passage into law.

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