NHTSA begins rulemaking for speed-limiter device standard

Washington – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced it will begin the rulemaking process to establish a safety standard that would require speed-limiting devices in certain heavy trucks.

According to a notice (.pdf file) published in the Jan. 3 Federal Register, NHTSA received two separate but similar petitions for the rulemaking in 2006. The Arlington, VA-based American Trucking Associations' petition asked NTHSA to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards to require vehicle manufacturers to install a device to limit speed to no more than 68 mph for trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 26,000 pounds.

The petition from Atlanta-based Road Safe America and a group of nine motor carriers requested the same limitation, and to have the standards apply to all trucks manufactured after 1990. Supporters of speed limiters claim they significantly lower crash rates for large trucks.

The Grain Valley, MO-based Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association opposes the rulemaking, saying data does not support the safety benefits of speed limiters.

NHTSA said it plans to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking in 2012.

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