Proposed Mandatory Speed Limiter Rule Delayed Once Again

A proposed rule to mandate a speed limiter on heavy-duty trucks has been delayed once again, as the rule awaits clearance from the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

It’s been a year since the proposed rule mandating speed limiters was sent to the White House’s OMB from the Department of Transportation, and if cleared, the rule will be published with the public given 60 days to weigh in. However, the publication date for the proposed rule has been pushed back from spring to the end of the summer, and it may even be pushed back further.

This rule could require governors on all trucks weighing over 27,000 pounds. The speed limit will likely be set no higher than 65 miles per hour, but the details of the rule will not be made public until the OMB reviews the proposal.

The rule has been a joint effort by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Among the rule’s supporters is the American Trucking Association (ATA). According to an article released by the ATA, “[s]lowing trucks down will reduce the frequency and severity of crashes. Federal data show that driving too fast for conditions or over the posted speed limit was the primary reason for 18% of all fatal crashes where a large truck was deemed at fault.”

The ATA realizes that a speed limiter rule will not prevent all crashes, but it will certainly help, as nationally, speed is a cause or factor in nearly 30% of all fatal crashes. This rule is part of a commitment to highway safety that the ATA has petitioned for since 2006 to the National Highway Safety Administration and the FMCSA.

Opponents of this speed limiter mandate include the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which has been cited as contending there is “a lack of solid science” to back up the mandate and that speed-limited trucks “would make highways less safe.”

As the Obama administration winds down, the progress on issues such as rulemaking begin to slow down. Only time will tell if the rule will be published by the end of summer. We will keep you posted.

Anna Newell is an associate attorney at Roberts Perryman. Anna’s practice focuses on transportation, insurance coverage and defense.

Anna Newell

Roberts Perryman has been a leader in transportation defense for over 50 years with offices in St. Louis and Springfield, MO and Belleville, IL.


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