Senator behind semi truck ‘speed limiter’ law retires

This could put the brakes on a bill introduced earlier this summer.

Speeding

This week, a Georgia Senator who introduced controversial commercial vehicle “speed limiter” legislation earlier this summer announced his retirement.

Republican Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia announced on Wednesday, August 28, that he planned to retire by the end of the year due to various health problems including Parkinson’s disease.

Isakson is perhaps most famous in the trucking community for a commercial vehicle speed limiter bill that he introduced this summer.

In late June 2019, Isakson along with Senator Chris Coons introduced S.2033, also known as the Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019.

The bill 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,” according to a news release from Isakson’s office.

The bill would also require the U.S. Department of Transportation to establish regulations to ensure that the speed limiter devices are accurate and effective at keeping trucks at the maximum speed limit within six months of the effective date of the bill.

While several large carriers and trucking groups have pushed for speed limiters for many years, other groups like OOIDA have long argued that speed limiters would decrease highway safety “because the interaction between large trucks and passenger vehicles would increase.” OOIDA has also argued that the 65 m.p.h. speed limit would hamper the earnings of small trucking companies who normally operate at a 70 m.p.h. speed limit.

Following the introduction of the bill on June 27, no action has been taken to move the controversial legislation forward.

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