Sens. Johnny Isakson of Georgia and Chris Coons of Delaware introduced a new bill that could increase the safety of the nation’s roadways. The bill requires new tractor-trailer trucks have speed limiters installed and activated. Although the law would not require trucking companies retrofit their current fleet to meet this requirement it would require those with speed limiters to begin using the devices.
The lawmakers state the bill would increase safety in two ways:
- Less deadly accidents. Truck drivers are more likely to react to dangers at a more manageable speed and can have a better chance to stop their vehicle and otherwise avoid potentially catastrophic accidents.
- Reduced risk of tire blowouts. Most heavy truck tires are not rated for speeds over 75 mph. Speed limiters would better ensure trucks travel within the set speeds and reduce the risk of accidents caused by blown tires.
Those behind the law state the change would result in tangible safety benefits. The group points to the United States Department of Transportation’s (DOT) research for support, noting the agency has stated a top speed limit of 65 mph would save between 63 and 214 lives every year.
This is not the first time the government has attempted to limit the speed of big rig trucks on the nation’s highways. The DOT has delayed action on a similar rule. The group behind the rule had studied the impact of speed of 60, 65 and 68 mph on traffic accidents involving these massive vehicles. We will provide updates on the progress of this bill as they become available.