OOIDA is opposed to mandatory speed limiters because they are dangerous for all highway users. The federal proposal is based on unfounded data that will likely detract from highway safety. In actuality, highways are safest when all vehicles travel at the same relative speed.
In July 2019, Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Chris Coons, D-Del., introduced S. 2033. The legislation would require all new commercial trucks with a gross weight over 26,001 pounds to be equipped with devices that limited the vehicle’s speed to no more than 65 miles per hour. OOIDA is meeting with lawmakers to oppose this bill and ensure that it does not become law.
In September 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a notice of proposed rulemaking that would mandate speed limiters on heavy-duty trucks. The proposed regulation seeks to require truck manufacturers activate speed limiters at the time of manufacture and all trucks with engine control modules (ECUs) capable of restricting speed be activated on trucks already on the road. Since its publication, the NPRM has been designated as a long-term action by the Administration and has not advanced in the rulemaking process.
While ATA and other big carrier organizations may like speed limiters for their own reasons, like fleet management, they make a driver’s life harder and less safe. A driver needs to have the ability to accelerate to make lane changes, to pass, especially on 2 lane roads, and to simply avoid unsafe situations. Further, there are multiple states where the speed limit exceeds 62 miles per hour. In some states, the limit is as high as 80 miles per hour. That means trucks would be traveling at rates of speed that are as much as 20 miles below the posted limit, impeding the flow of traffic. As we know, the safest highways are those where traffic travels at the same or similar speeds. For every speed differential of 1 mile per hour between vehicles, the likelihood of interaction increases.