According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), speeding of any kind is the most common driver-related crash factor for drivers of both commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles. That is just one of the many reasons why the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) chose speeding as its focus for this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, to be held July 11-17.
Operation Safe Driver Week is aimed at improving the driving behaviors of all drivers through education, traffic enforcement strategies, and interactions with law enforcement. Throughout the week, law enforcement personnel will be on the lookout for risky driving behaviors in or around a commercial motor vehicle, and unsafe drivers will be pulled over and issued a citation or warning. The goal of the initiative is to help reduce future high-risk driving through direct interaction between identified drivers and law enforcement personnel.
The truckload industry is acutely aware of the dangers of speeding and other reckless driving behaviors. To mitigate these behaviors, TCA’s members continuously implement new technologies in their trucks which will make the highways safer for all drivers, but particularly which will help ensure their drivers make it safely home to their families. These technologies include automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, and most notably, speed limiters.
Speed limiters have recently caught the attention of members of Congress as well. In late May, Reps. Lucy McBath (D-GA) and John Katko (R-NY) introduced the bipartisan Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act. This bill would require FMCSA to develop a regulation requiring all new commercial motor vehicles to be equipped with technology to limit maximum operating speed, to require existing speed-limiting technologies already installed in commercial motor vehicles manufactured after 1992 to be used while in operation, and to require that the maximum safe operating speed of commercial motor vehicles does not exceed 65 miles per hour, or 70 miles per hour with certain safety technologies.
TCA is supportive of this legislation as it reflects our membership’s commitment to improving highway safety through data-driven policymaking. In addition to being the most frequent driver-related crash factor, speeding has also been a factor in more than a quarter of all crash deaths over the last decade and was a factor in the deaths of over 25 people per day. The data does not lie – speed is a huge safety threat. We commend Reps. McBath and Katko and other relevant stakeholders for partnering with industry groups like TCA to ensure legislation reflects the proactive measures being taken by so many carriers who want to decrease these speed-related accidents.