Current Debate Over Required Speed Limiters: Should We Drive Over 65?
Keeping up with changes in the truck driving industry is an extremely important part of your career, particularly when you are looking at laws and statutes that will significantly change the way you drive and the amount of miles you can drive. That is the case with the new speed limiter mandate, which has been on the table since spring of 2015. Learn more about this law and how it may affect your truck driving career in the future.
A Popularity Surge for Speed Limiters
Support for speed limiters has increased significantly in recent years. The American Trucking Association first publicly backed this law in 2006, and they have been advocating for it ever since. Finally, the Department of Transportation moved to mandate the use of speed limiters in trucks on certain highways. Specifically, this law would be enforced on roads with a speed limit of . The current law does not yet specify what the speed limit will be for trucks, but many proposals suggest 68 MPH.
Will Legislation Change?
Legislation requiring speed limiters is fully expected to be accepted by the federal government by fall or winter of 2015. Although some groups are pushing back against this law with petitions and other efforts, the vast majority of the trucking industry seems to have already accepted that this is going to happen and that it will be a good thing for the truck driving industry.
If you are a company driver, your company will likely be responsible for the installation and implementation of speed limiters. If you are an owner-operator, however, this responsibility will probably fall to you. You'll need to read the law when it passes—it may only affect newly manufactured trucks or it may require all current trucks to have speed monitors.
Is This Good News or Bad News for Truckers?
In any industry, change is inevitable. Change is how a field keeps growing, adapting to new expectations, and staying relevant. It is particularly important in a field like truck driving, where you are handling equipment that can directly impact road safety.
Furthermore, speed limiters are expected to make the roads safer for everyone. A truck going 75 MPH takes 1/3 longer to stop than a truck going 65 MPH. Over 4000 people die in large truck crashes every year, and experts in the industry believe that this rule could eliminate almost 1200 of those deaths annually.
Opponents of this law claim that the speed differential between large trucks and other vehicles may make the roads less safe. The OOIDA claims that having trucks drive much slower than cars may cause crashes if cars aren’t anticipating the trucks around them to be driving at such low speeds. However, it is important to keep in mind that the vast majority of deaths from large truck crashes come from passengers and drivers of small vehicles, not drivers, so a lower speed is still supported by the majority of the country.
In general, speed limiters can be good for the truck driving industry. No matter how safely you drive, the laws of physics mean that large truck drivers will always have to drive differently than those driving small vehicles. If speed limiters save lives and reduce crashes, then it is difficult to deny that they are worth the investment.
How do you feel about speed regulation in the trucking industry? We want to know!
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