After years of petition and months of review, the proposal to require speed limiters on heavy-duty trucks has finally been approved by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.
It is still unclear what the exact rules will be, but the American Trucking Association has been asking the Department of Transportation since 2006 to place a hard limit of 65 mph on vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds.
According to the DOT’s August Significant Rulemaking Report, the rule is scheduled to be published on the Federal Register on August 26. Once published, public comments can be made until October 26, and the following 30 days will be reserved for replies from industry stakeholders.
The ATA and Road Safe America have been petitioning for the requirement of speed limiters with the belief that the mandate would help decrease an estimated 1,115 fatal crashes per year. According to the ATA’s CEO, Bill Graves, a hard speed limit of 65 mph would greatly reduce fatal crashes while reducing fuel consumption by up to 25 percent.
However, on the other end, the OOIDA has been calling that the benefits of speed limiters as “shaky science”, stating that the speed differential between trucks and passenger vehicles caused by the speed limiter would actually be more dangerous than going a few miles over the speed limit.
“The data underpinning FMCSA’s initial proposal didn’t even include the speed of a truck at the time of a crash,” said Laura O’Neill-Kaumo, OOIDA director of government affairs. “Additional studies by OOIDA and by the Department of Transportation have found that speed differentials actually increase the risk for crashes.”
Although the rule is expected to be published later this month, it is not expected to be enforced until 2018 at the earliest.