The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is still accepting public comments on a plan to push forward with rulemaking to require speed limiting devices on trucks for a few more days.
As of July 7, 2022, the FMCSA has received 14.82K public comments on the controversial “speed limiter” mandate, many of which are from drivers or small trucking company owners who are concerned about the rule.
The comment period has been open since May 4, 2022, and will officially close July 18, 2022.
What are commenters saying?
In a Notice of Intent document published on April 27, the FMCSA announced 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.
While the FMCSA specifically requested comments on the programming or adjustment of ECUs that could be made to impose speed limits on CMVs, a large number of commenters took the opportunity to point out potential problems with a federal speed limiter mandate. Many of the commenters instead expressed concern about highway safety and road rage if the speed limiter rule goes into effect. Many also called for better enforcement of passenger vehicle driver behavior in place of limiting the speed on CMVs in order to improve highway safety.
Check out a sample of the public comments on the speed limiter mandate below.
“Limiting speeds in trucks will not make them safer. All it will do is impede traffic in places where the truck speed limit is higher, making driving a truck more dangerous for the truck driver because the cars around it will be making aggressive maneuvers to get around it. This law is an over reach, if there is a problem with a few trucks speeding, you need to use the State Patrol to enforce the speed limit on those law breaking drivers.” — R Bowers
“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.” — John Cochran
“The use of these limiters on heavily traveled highways and interstates is going to have a deadly ripple effect. There is entirely to much road rage put of automobiles, and truck drivers for this to be a safe tactic. More people will be injured or doe from this action in the 1st year, than in the last 5 years combined. If you want safer trucks, you need to focus on safer teachings of truck drivers!! The truck will only go as fast and dangerously as the driver will allow it. No one in any office has the slightest clue of how to safely operate a CMV. The only excuse is “statistics “, until you’ve come into the industry, you’ll never have a clue. What you need in office to sort a lot of these issues out, is seasoned veteran drivers. Drivers with no less than 25 years experience, from every aspect of the trucking world. Not just general freight movers. Trucks that run permitted overweight/over-dimensional loads down the highway, what do you think will happen when they need to get over emergency vehicles on the side of the road, and CANNOT DO SO!?!” — Mike Miller
“I’ve been a commercial driver for nearly 20 years. The most dangerous thing I have seen in my career is the use of split speed limits and having governed trucks running on a highway where the average vehicle is running 20+ mph faster than the governed truck. Split speed limits and governors kill. Governors cause congestion, road rage, cause unnecessary wrecks because of being a larger slower moving target and do nothing to improve fuel economy. Take a hard look at areas that have high truck congestion and the number of major wrecks. You will find that there are lots of wrecks that happen because of road rage and aggressive driving practices. Let’s use I-30 between Little Rock and Texarkana as an example. It’s mostly a 4 lane divided highway and 6 lanes closer to Little Rock. It’s a main route for freight and it’s always a mess. You end up with a snail race between a 61 mph truck and a 62 mph truck constantly. Which results in traffic jams because god forbid Mr 61mph back off to let the passing truck go or for that matter the faster truck slow and just ride. This results in people getting irritated. They start driving more aggressive and taking chances. Be it cutting in and out of traffic, passing on shoulders, splitting lanes, cutting people off, etc. Several times I’ve watched cars and even other trucks get around that mess and then immediately brake check the vehicles that were causing the hold up. Wrecks occur and often times there is major injury and/or death. Another issue with speed governors is that it doesn’t leave you an opportunity to make a run for a hill which causes you to drop speed and become a rolling hazard that can lead to a run under/rear end collision. Let trucks run the posted limit or be governed at the speed in which their tires are rated at from the factory (68-75 in most cases) and leave it at that. However if you’re going to govern trucks, then cars should be governed at the same speed. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” — Robert Sloan
“The industry is overregulated as it is. Limiting speed is not the answer, it’s only gonna cause more congestion and less reaction time for drivers. If your gonna target big trucks then regulate ALL vehicles on the road. If you have never held a CDL or driven professionally then how do you feel you can regulate something you can’t understand?? Accidents don’t always happen with speeding it’s poor training and driving skills and that’s in ALL vehicles not just big trucks.” — Alicia Kidd