Yesterday, two senators reintroduced controversial semi truck “speed limiter” legislation that they say will improve highway safety and save lives.
On Thursday, June 27, Senators Johnny Isakson and Chris Coons introduced S.2033, also known as the Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019.
The senators say that the law is designed to revive “a pending ‘speed limiter’ rule that has languished in the federal bureaucratic process for 10 years.”
According to a news release from Isakson’s office, 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.”
“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.”
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.
In 2016, the DOT issued a proposal that would require speed limiters on any truck weighing more than 26,000 pounds. However, when Trump came into office, his administration chose not to pursue speed limiters and the proposal was withdrawn.
Groups endorsing the speed limiter bill include Road Safe America, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) Foundation, Parents Against Tired Truckers, the Trucking Alliance, the Truckload Carriers Association and the Truck Safety Coalition.