The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has signaled that it will move forward with a controversial rule to require speed limiting devices on commercial vehicles.
FMCSA To Move Ahead With Speed Limiters For CMVs
In a federal report recently released by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the FMCSA has targeted June 30, 2023, as the planned date to release a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking on “Heavy Vehicle Speed Limiters.”
The FMCSA said that the agency plans to proceed with the speed limiter mandate and will consider whether additional regulatory actions should be taken concerning CMV manufacturer requirements.
Thousands of Truckers Oppose Speed Limiter Plans
Earlier this year, the FMCSA issued Notice of Intent document announcing plans to propose that any commercial vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more be equipped with an electronic engine control unit (ECU) that will be capable of governing speed to a limit that will be determined during the rulemaking process.
Following this announcement, the FMCSA accepted public comment on the speed limiter rule, garnering more than 15,600 comments by the time that the submission window closed.
“This idea is horrible. You all need to ride in a truck for a week. You would then see the real side of trucks. Just because it looks good on paper. It doesn’t mean it’s safe. If all trucks are going the same speed. Cars will get mad and try to get around no matter the risk they take. It’s a very bad idea and will further cripple the industry. So many of us will leave the industry and park the trucks. You can’t get the supply chain caught up now. What do you think will happen with fewer trucks on the road? Stop trying to control our every move. We aren’t robots,” said commenter John Cochran.
A majority of the received comments came from truckers, who argued against speed limiters by pointing out that they could cause more road rage incidents while also increasing the risk of crashes. Others said that trucking is already over-regulated and that the federal government’s meddling is having a detrimental effect on the industry. Some commenters also asked for better enforcement on passenger vehicle drivers for improved highway safety.
Trucking groups like the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) oppose speed limiters because “studies have demonstrated that a higher variance of vehicle speeds in traffic flow increases the risk of an accident, and speed limiters cause speed variance.”