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Trucking safety rules face bumpy road

Proposed regulations requiring speed-limiting devices on trucks have stalled after the White House imposed a stay on most new federal regulations. The Department of Transportation previously estimated that the proposal would prevent deaths from trucking accidents and lower $1 billion in fuel costs each year.

The proposed regulations, drafted by the DOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, were issued last September. These required the placement of electronic speed limiting devices on all newly-built American trucks, buses and multi-purpose passenger vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating over 26,000 pounds. Retrofitting was not required for older trucks under this proposal.

There were discussions on the maximum speed setting limiting truck speed to 60, 65 or 68 mph. The DOT said that it would consider a maximum speed after reviewing public input.

A DOT study issued in 2012 reported that trucks without speed limiters had a rate of 16.4 collisions per 100 trucks. By comparison, trucks equipped with these devices had a rate of 11 collisions per 100 trucks each year.

Bloomberg also issued a recent report on the benefits of this rule. Benefits to industry would far exceed the annual costs of $209 million to $1.6 billion. Government forecasts show that fuels savings would independently exceed these costs. General benefits, such as lives saved by through preventing a truck accident, would be from $684 to $6.5 billion each year.

The Trucking Alliance argued for this speed limiter rule and claimed these devices would lower the number of fatalities and serious injuries caused by large trucks driving at excessive speeds. It requested a maximum speed limit of 65 mph for the device.

Placing the brakes on efforts to curb excessive speeds allows the risks to other motorists to continue. Trucking accident victims in Nevada face lost wages and medical expenses while families may suffer the loss of relatives in these accidents. An attorney can help assure that compensation is pursued in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Source: Logistics Management, "Fate of proposed speed limiter rule remains less than certain," By Jeff Berman, July 7, 2017

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