Study on Speed Limits
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration unveiled the results of new research this week concerning the proposal of limiting the top speed of commercial trucks. According to the results of the research, the use of technology to electronically watch over and limit the speed of commercial trucks has a clear safety benefit for not only the truck drivers, but everyone else on the road as well. The American Transportation Research Institute and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute both participated in the study, coming to the conclusion that the use of active speed limiters in trucks would clearly benefit all drivers on the highway, most likely decreasing the amounts of accidents caused by excessive speeding.
The American Trucking Association had petitioned both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration almost six years ago for the use of speed limiters on all commercial motor vehicles in order to make the highways a safer place to drive. At that time there were several voices that held reservations over the proposed speed limiters. The detractors of this technology were addressed by the study.
The concern was that motor vehicles equipped with the speed limiter would interact in a dangerous manner with those motor vehicles not equipped with speed limiters. In essence, there would be two different speed limits for two different groups of vehicles. The fear was that if one group of vehicles were allowed to go at a faster speed than another, it would end up causing more accidents. According to the study, the safety benefits of lowering the speed limit on commercial vehicles would lower the accident rate to such a degree that it would far out weigh any negative effects incurred by the lack of an absolute speed limit amongst all motor vehicles.
The President and CEO of the American Trucking Association, Bill Graves, reported that that this new research would strengthen the case to require the use of electronic speed limiters on all commercial motor vehicles. He went on to say that according to the recent study the best way to increase safety on the highways and to decrease the amount of accidents is to decrease the speed limit of not just trucks, but all vehicles in general. According to Graves, the national speed limit should be 65 mph. He is hoping the results of the newest research will go a long way in setting this proposal into motion.
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