The comment period has ended for those who wished to weigh in on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposal to mandate speed limiting devices on newly manufactured large vehicles. The hope of this legislation is to reduce truck accident rates on highways in Pennsylvania and across the country by making it impossible for vehicles over 26,000 pounds to travel above a particular speed. It has not been decided if the limit will be 60, 65 or 68 mph.
Because truckers believe they have the most to lose from the proposal, they were the ones to offer the most comments. Many owners and operators urged the FMCSA to reconsider the law because of the detrimental effect it would have on the trucking industry as well as the perceived safety issues on the nation’s highways. Trucking companies fear that slowing down their vehicles will lose them money — some estimate between $20,000 and $30,000 a year – and ultimately they will lose their businesses. Others suggest that the proposal itself is the work of special interest groups who have an agenda to push.
The safety issues focus on a truck’s inability to speed up to avoid dangerous situations. For example, if smaller vehicles are trying to enter a busy highway, a truck traveling in the right lane would not be able to accelerate past the speed cap’s limit to allow safe merging. The most common criticism is that slower moving trucks will produce more aggressive drivers who will take unsafe chances to get around the larger vehicles.
While truck drivers may have a valid point in asking for more in-depth study before initiating the caps, it cannot be denied that truck accidents at any speed can be disastrous. However, a 13 ton vehicle traveling 70 or 80 mph may leave little chance for the survival of the occupants of any smaller vehicle it hits. A truck accident can mean life-altering injuries. Those in Pennsylvania who have had been injured in an accident involving a speeding truck may find comfort by contacting a lawyer to pursue claims for compensation.
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: overdriveonline.com, “Speed limiters will hurt truckers’ bottom line and cause more accidents, operators argue in formal comments“, Matt Cole, Dec. 8, 2016