In just a few weeks, thousands of truckers left comments for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on a plan to push forward with rulemaking to require speed limiting devices on trucks.
Comment period extended after thousands of comments received
As of May 26, the FMCSA has received 11.39K 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. Due to the volume of comments and requests from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the FMCSA has agreed to extend the public comment period from the previous end date of June 3, 2022 to 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 some recent public comments on the speed limiter mandate below.
This is a stupid idea, the danger of more accidents from cars hitting trucks will go up more if you do this. I own my truck and even though it will go much faster I drive it at the speed that gives me the best safety and fuel mileage. I have over 42 years on the road and have never had an accident, or even a ticket in 30 years. Punishing me and other professional drivers for actions by car drivers is not only unfair and discriminating to those of us that do the hard work of delivering everything you buy. If you really want to lose the older and safer drivers then pass this regulation.the driver shortage will increase by over 50% and you will destroy this industry. — Karl Wendtand
Trucking companies and owner operators should determine how fast they want their trucks to go, not the government. If trucks can only run 60-65 mph it will severely limit our abilities to merge with traffic, as well as avoid hazards and collisions with other vehicles. Many times I have had to speed up and move to the left lane to avoid another vehicle attempting to merge into my lane of traffic. Yes you could slow down and let them over but with a large truck that isn’t always the best course of action. Having to slow down suddenly could lead to a collision if the drivers behind us aren’t paying attention. Also we will not be able to get a run for the hills and it will slow us down even more climbing the hills. I can’t tell you how many large companies that have their trucks limited to 65 are essentially rolling roadblocks going uphill. Instead of limiting speed why not step up enforcement of reckless behavior of passenger vehicle drivers as well as commercial drivers? — Tyler DeBarr
This rule will cause more accidents not less, the proof of thus can be found every single day on the highways as we see cars take ridiculous chances in the hope they don’t get stuck behind a slower truck. The state of Ohio just recently increased the truck speed limit from 55 to 70 because there was zero proof after 20 years+ that the split speed limit between cars and trucks was helpful! Frankly the FMCSA is creating a bigger problem here! Look at truck speeding tickets in construction zones in recent years, did anyone bother to ask why? It’s a combination of slow trucks already with the mega carriers and the elogs, drivers are literally racing for every single second instead of taking the time to slow down and increase speed when they clear the zone! Cars become more aggressive, semi truck drivers become more aggressive and in the end it’s a lose lose, add to that that owner operators who pay 90,100 thousand dollars for a truck aren’t buying them to not be able to do the speed limit. Drivers who are capable will leave the industry adding a even bigger strain on the driver availability! Reconsider dropping this and rely on your state patrol, Weight stations and so on to enforce the laws already on the books, signed a 21 year veteran of this industry. — Chad Boettner
As a driver of a car, the most annoying thing I deal with is the trucks that are going 15-20 mph under the speed limit. Especially on 2 lane interstates, where cars go zipping in and out to get around. I feel that having trucks governed to go under the speed limit will be more dangerous than them going the speed limit. I feel that cars cutting them off or zipping around them is more dangerous. Also, if you have them governed in certain areas, how are they to safely get up to speed to merge safely when cars are going faster? — Mary Brown
Speed limiter will get some drivers shot from a road rage [if a] 4 wheeler that thinks we could have got out of his way. — Rick Brock
We unequivocally oppose any action that would mandate speed limiters. Studies and research have proven that traffic is safest when all vehicles travel at the same relative speed. Limiting trucks to speeds below the flow of traffic increases interactions between vehicles and will lead to more crashes. Any efforts to mandate speed limiters will take more control out of the driver’s hands and penalize small businesses. — Rodney Janes
This idea is horrible. 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. Talking about falling asleep behind the wheel? Make it boring for the driver and you will really see the bed end results. — Angel Narvaez