After 10 years of petitioning and legal maneuvering, the U.S. Department of Transportation today officially published a proposal to require speed limiters on commercial vehicles.
NHTSA Would Require Speed Limiters On All Vehicles Over 26,000 Pounds
The proposed rule making would require that any newly manufactured vehicle weighing over 26,000 pounds come equipped with speed limiting devices.
The proposal also explores the speeds that vehicles over 26,000 pounds should be allowed to travel, with maximum speed limits of 60, 65, and 68 m.p.h. to be considered. DOT says that it will take public input into consideration before deciding on a maximum speed in a final ruling.
The speed limiters would also have to be manufactured so that it is possible to read not only the current maximum speed setting but also the two previous speed settings and the time and date that those settings were changed.
Proposal Would Give FMCSA Power To Require Speed Limiters On Trucks Already On The Road
Under the new proposal, the NHTSA would have jurisdiction over requiring speed limiters in newly manufactured trucks while the FMCSA would apparently be given power to require them in trucks that are already on the road.
From the proposal: “FMCSA is proposing a complementary Federal motor carrier safety regulation (FMCSR) requiring each commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a GVWR of more than 11,793.4 kilograms (26,000 pounds) to be equipped with a speed limiting device meeting the requirements of the proposed FMVSS applicable to the vehicle at the time of manufacture, including the requirement that the device be set to a speed not greater than a specified speed. Motor carriers operating such vehicles in interstate commerce would be required to maintain the speed limiting devices for the service life of the vehicle.”
DOT says that the proposal will save $1.1 billion in fuel costs each year. They also claim it will significantly increase highway safety: “This is basic physics. Even small increases in speed have large effects on the force of impact. Setting the speed limit on heavy vehicles makes sense for safety and the environment,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosalind.
You can comment on the proposal by clicking here.