Truckers comment against FMCSA’s speed limiter initiative, saying that it will spark road rage on the highways and do little to help with preventing accidents. The comment period opened on May, 4th and will continue to be open until June 3rd.
The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) is looking to revise its regulations and planning to introduce speed-limiting device requirements on certain trucks. Thousands of truckers have submitted comments against the proposal regarding their plan to require speed-limiting devices on trucks.
The initial proposal was put forth by FMCSA in a document entitled “Notice of Intent.” The backlash coming from the industry is not a surprise considering the many times in the past similar proposals were introduced. Some states have rules around speed limiters on their highways but no federal regulation exists requiring governors.
Any commercial vehicle weighing 26,000 pounds or more would be fitted with a governor that would have the functionality to limit the speed of the unit based on the speed limits on the roads as well as the preferences set by the owner of the vehicle. The limit is to be determined during the official decision-making process.
5,400 public comments regarding the speed limiter rule have been submitted to the FMCSA so far. While they were specifically looking for input about the configuration and setup of ECUs that could be used to limit CMVs, most of the commenters responded with concerns about the implications of commercial vehicle governors. Pointing out the potential for more road rage because of lane blocking and already congested highways.
One commenter remarked on the disastrous effects on truckers and the public if this rule were to be introduced. “As an Over road driver, limiting our speed under the posted limit is not a good idea.”
Concerns about more traffic congestion, frustrated drivers, long lines of trucks, and countless other annoyances that would plague over 3,600,000 drivers are also being shared.
Along with the 5,400+ public comments on the issue, some leading trucking publications have commented publicly on their websites about the implications of such changes and their support/opposition around speed limiters.
Across the board, it appears that speed limiter is highly opposed, and would cost drivers and companies thousands of hours of drivable time compounded year over year, indefinitely.
“ATA is pleased that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is pursuing a constructive, data-driven approach to the issue of truck speed limiter in its latest proposal,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said in a press release. “We intend to thoroughly review FMCSA’s proposal, and we look forward to working with the agency to shape a final rule that is consistent with our policy supporting the use of speed limiters in conjunction with numerous other safety technologies.”
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association had the following to say.
“Studies and research have already proven what we were all taught long ago in driver’s ed classes, that traffic is safest when vehicles all travel at the same relative speed,” OOIDA President and CEO Todd Spencer said in a press release. “Limiting trucks to speeds below the flow of traffic increases interactions between vehicles, which can lead to more crashes.” However, the fuel efficiency benefits seen by many fleets make the option appealing, especially given the high diesel prices.