Speed Limiters – Really?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was established to enhance the safety of commercial motor vehicles (trucks) on America’s highways.

It has been a very, very long time since they have actually proposed or promulgated regulations that would positively further their mission. Instead, they are insistent in establishing regulations that promote bureaucratic expansion, overreach and job security.

Case in point, mandated Speed Limiters on all trucks over 26,001 lbs. Why is this a straw man regulation? Consider:

  • There is no data supporting the contention that excessive speeds contribute to commercial vehicle (truck) crashes or commercial vehicle related highway fatalities. In fact, quite the contrary is true. Although the causal factor of “driving too fast for conditions”, which could mean driving 20 mph on black ice, may  be a frequent contributor there are no direct links to “high” speeds and commercial vehicle accidents.
  • The jury is still out on differentiated speed limits between trucks and passenger vehicles. Some states have established lower speed limits for commercial vehicles which may cause traffic congestion and dangerous interactions between trucks and cars. One causal factor that is significant in truck crashes, is that of being rear-ended by other vehicles (which trucks have no control over). With speed limits varying state by state, a one-size fits all, nationwide truck speed limiter could in fact produce the opposite results and increase truck related accidents and fatalities.
  • FMCSA say’s the regulation could save lives and $1 billion in fuel costs per year. The operative word here is “could”. Show me the “beef”, where’s the data. Additionally, I thought the FMCSA was a safety based agency. Why the concern for fuel savings?

Once again we have a federal agency attempting to establish a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. And that solution is going to cost everyone. It will cost the trucking companies, drivers and consumers. And what benefit will America get in return?  Zilch, zip, nada!!

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