As professional truck drivers, we write to warn the public and officials about the dangers of mandating speed-limiting devices on commercial trucks. We ask that you fully consider and evaluate all the potential negative consequences before supporting a mandate that would require all trucks to be equipped with these devices. Our opposition to speed limiters is based upon our experience as truck driving professionals with millions of safe, accident-free miles behind the wheel.
The use of speed limiters creates an artificial and unsafe speed differential between trucks and other highway users. Faster-moving cars sharing the road with slower-moving trucks create an increased likelihood for collisions as other vehicles compete to pass speed limited trucks and attempt to enter or exit highways. Yes, some motor carriers have made the business decision to speed limit their trucks, and every day we have a front-row seat to the negative safety consequences of this decision. Each of us has seen too many close calls and actual crashes resulting from speed limited trucks not safely moving with the flow of traffic. We do not want to see – or be involved in – the countless number of crashes that will occur once a speed limiter mandate is in place.
A speed limiter mandate will add this unsafe speed differential to our nation’s interstate highways, which are the safest roads because traffic moves at generally the same rate. Indeed, most states with differential car/truck speed limits have removed them for safety reasons. In the meantime, speed limiters will not address any of the safety challenges that come with driving on the lower speed roads where most crashes do occur. Improving truck driver training and ensuring that law enforcement tickets passenger car drivers who operate unsafely around commercial trucks is the only way to improve safety in these situations. Further, any change in speed limit on any highway should be made by highway safety experts and should not be politically motivated. Mandating speed limiters and/or setting differential speed limits may seem like a positive safety action, but in our professional safety judgment it is a negative safety step backward.
Please review all independent and relevant data and research, not just government data, available on this issue. If it does not exist, go out and work with an independent entity to gather the data and conduct the research. Also, please talk to truck drivers in person and listen to what they have to say about all highway safety issues. We truly have safety as our No. 1 priority as we travel from state to state delivering goods. Our own lives and livelihoods depend on our attention to everything around, and we have every reason to stay safe and keep others safe with whom we share the roads.