DOT develops proposal limiting speed for heavy trucks

Accidents involving commercial trucks can cause serious injuries to motorists. Commercial trucks can be dangerous on the Pittsburgh roadways due to their extensive size and weight. When these vehicles are speeding, their danger is even more pronounced. Despite this danger, many truck drivers exceed the design limits on the tires of these commercial vehicles. That’s why the Department of Transportation has developed a new proposal to help prevent future truck accidents.

While details of the proposal have yet to be released to the public, the basic idea is to place a speed limiter on heavier trucks. An Associated Press investigation recently found that higher speeds can cause detailed truck tire failures.

Back in 2006, American Trucking Assns. and Road Safe America requested a speed limiter setting of 68 mph. However, the most recent request has been 65 mph. According to the president and CEO of ATA, the progress of the speed limiter regulation has been stuck in the bureaucratic process for several years. The Transportation Secretary noted that the demands of cost-benefit analysis and research have slowed the proposal’s advancement.

In January 2011, the government agreed to go forward with a speed limiter mandate. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that this would be the best way to stop truck drivers from pushing beyond the design limits of their trucks’ tires. However, some experts are concerned that the mandate lacks a strong scientific basis and that the limiters could potentially make the roads even more dangerous.

The Office of Management and Budget reviews the costs and benefits, and if it is cleared, the rule will be published. The public will then have 60 days to voice their opinion. The rule is projected to clear on August 15 and potentially become published on August 27.

Source: Fleet Owner, “Speed-limiter proposal reaches White house for review,” Kevin Jones, May 19, 2015