OOIDA says speed limiter proposal won’t help truck safety
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association said Monday that an announcement on Jan. 26 that the Department of Transportation will consider requiring speed limiters on all large trucks is 'just one more example of how big business controls the national agenda to the detriment of many.'
'The mere fact that two federal agencies are even considering petitions requesting mandatory speed limiters on trucks is a clear indication that federal agencies are all too willing to appease big business,' OOIDA said in a statement.
Petitions requesting the government to require speed limiters be set at 68 mph and not tampered with are being considered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. NHTSA and FMCSA are requesting comments on petitions for rulemaking from the American Trucking Association, Road Safe America and a group of nine motor carriers. The petitions request devices that would limit the speed of certain trucks and prohibit all truckers from adjusting the speed limiting devices as a safety measure.
'Since very few highway accidents involving trucks take place at speeds greater than 68 mph, you don't have to be a highway safety expert to conclude a singular focus on truck speed could hardly produce a safety breakthrough,' said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer. 'The big companies want government approval to run longer and heavier trucks all over the country. The speed limiter proposal is like putting lipstick on that idea.'
Spencer added that nothing stops any of these trucking companies from setting speed limiters on their trucks at any speed they choose.
'In fact,' he said, 'many large companies already speed limit their trucks, but they don’t ‘crow’ about their safety records because they’re nothing to brag about. They want a government mandate to do it, however, because they know their drivers, whom they pay only for miles driven, would move to another company with a less restrictive speed policy. And they want to deny shippers the option of choosing trucking companies that place a higher priority on on-time service.'