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Highway safety advocates fight for new speed limits for trucks

These blogs are posted on behalf of Hof & Reid LLC, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

Since 2006, members of Road Safe America have been trying to get legislation passed to slow down trucks on highways in Pennsylvania and across the country. Now, on the cusp of success, they fear their controversial new law may not pass the scrutiny of the new U.S. president. While President-Elect Donald Trump has made it clear that he does not support government regulations that impede the growth of the economy, advocates of the rule hope that he will see this regulation as a common-sense measure to improve highway safety.

The proposed rule calls for speed limiters on all newly manufactured trucks, preventing the trucks from traveling above a certain, as yet undetermined, maximum speed. Advocates of the bill - including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Truck Safety Coalition - believe that slowing trucks down will logically reduce the severity of impact in the event of a crash. Slower speeds would also reduce stress on truck tires, reducing accidents from blowouts.

However, independent truckers and small trucking companies are resisting the law. Many filed comments saying that accidents may actually increase if trucks are made to travel at a slower speed than the normal flow of traffic. Over 2,000 comments have to be reviewed by the agencies involved before a decision is made about the maximum speed: 60, 65 or 68 mph.

Even if the new administration opts to allow this highway safety regulation to pass, drivers of smaller vehicles will still be at risk of serious accidents involving trucks. Many truck accidents occur because of other factors, such as fatigue or distraction, that even lower speeds cannot prevent. Those in Pennsylvania who are victims of accidents caused by negligent truck drivers have the right to seek possible compensation by consulting an attorney about filing a personal injury claim.

This blog entry was posted on behalf of Hof & Reid LLC, and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.

Source: ABC, "Safety Advocates Fear Truck Speed Limiter Rule Could Stall", Tom Krisher, Dec. 19, 2016

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