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Making The Roads Safer With Semi Truck Technology That Limits Trucker's Speed

In August 2016, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a proposal from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to limit heavy-duty truck speeds. The proposal entails equipping heavy-duty vehicles with semi-truck technology that caps the maximum speed the vehicle can go. According to experts, the measure would reduce accidents and fatalities as well as cutting more than $1 billion in fuel costs. Those are significant benefits, and industry professionals are backing the decision.

Types of Vehicles Affected

The proposal states that any truck, bus, or multipurpose passenger vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 lbs. must be equipped with a limiting device. Trucking companies, carriers and independent truckers will be required to install and maintain speed limiters or face fines. What's more, once the proposal becomes law, all newly manufactured trucks will be outfitted with a limiter as standard equipment. The American Trucking Association (ATA) and several top carriers stand behind the proposal, stating that it will make trucking safer for everyone.

What Will the Limit Be?

While there are no specifics as to the top speed that will be allowed, there are some speeds that are being considered by the governing agencies. The benefits of speeds of 60, 65 and 68 miles an hour are all being discussed at the moment. Since even the smallest increase in speed can increase the force of impact, it's important to come to a consensus as to what the safest speed is. The authorities are accepting public input into the matter, and an ultimate decision will be made once all of the data and opinions are tallied.

What Are the Benefits?

According to the latest available data from the FMCSA, around 3,500 fatalities occurred as the result of a collision with a heavy-duty vehicle. What's more, roughly one-third of them were due to excessive speed on the part of the truck driver. The report also reveals that there were roughly 82,000 non-fatal injuries from those accidents. Clearly, reducing heavy truck speeds will reduce the number of fatalities, and perhaps reduce the injury rate as well. Additionally, regulators claim that the trucking industry will see fuel savings of over $1 billion annually.

Industry professionals, from drivers to fleet owners must do whatever they can to provide safe, efficient delivery of cargo across the nation. Limiting how fast a truck is allowed to go may well be one of the keys to making our roadways safer for all. Please feel free to contact us to share your opinions about speed limiting devices, or any other trucking industry topic. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff welcomes the opportunity to speak with you anytime.