Big Rig Speed Limiter

A national association of small-business truckers claims the government’s proposal to mandate speed-limiting devices on large commercial trucks would be dangerous for all highway users.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), the nation’s only organization representing professional and small-business truckers, says such devices create speed differentials that lead to more crashes and promote road rage among other motorists.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced last week the issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking. It would require U.S. trucks larger than 26,000 pounds and ECU equipped, approximate model year 2000 and newer, be set at a maximum speed of 60 or 65 or 68 miles per hour. The notice says the agency will consider other speeds based on public input.

“Highways are safest when all vehicles travel at the same relative speed,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA’s executive vice president. “This wisdom has always been true and has not ever changed.”

The association also claims speed limit devices actually take control out of the hands of drivers in that there are a number of scenarios that require drivers to accelerate in order to avoid danger.

“No technology can replace the safest thing to put in a truck, which is a well-trained driver,” Spencer said.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is a national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The association currently has more than 157,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the Greater Kansas City, Mo., area.

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