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Monday, July 08 2019
Time to revive the 65 mph?

Orlando, Fla.—In one hand automation and driverless trucks, in the other speed limiters required on existing trucks.  The great majority of trucks on our roads have speed-limiting technology already, but a legislative agenda is being revived, after 10 years, to limit the speed of semi-trucks.

In 2016, the Department Of Transportation issued a proposal that would require speed limiters on any truck weighing more than 26,000 pounds. The U.S. Transportation Department’s rationale was that the move could save both lives and fuel.

At the time, the American Trucking Association, a trade group for the industry, praised the proposal, and noted that it had petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2006 to require speed limiting technology. The group has endorsed a national speed limit of 65 mph (105 kph) for trucks. In the other hand the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which represents independent truckers and small business operators, said back then that the proposed rules would prevent truck drivers from speeding up to avoid danger, and create unsafe disparities in the speed of vehicles on highways. The initiative was eventually withdrawn.

In recent days, two Senators introduced an initiative known as the Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019, created to limit the speed of large semi-trucks to 65 miles per hour nationwide. For that instance, trucks would be required to be equipped with speed-limiting devices. The maximum speed requirement would also be extended to existing trucks that already have the technology installed. However, trucks without speed limiters will not be forced to retroactively install the technology.

The force behind the speed limiter bill is among others: 

Road Safe America— A non-profit group that promotes highway safety, citing some statistics that indicate that speed limiter technology cut down on fatal crashes:

“Studies released by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation found that highway speed-related, at-fault truck crashes fell by 73% and fatalities in all crashes involving Big-Rigs dropped 24% after mandatory speed limiter technology took effect there in 2009.”

Other activists groups are Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) Foundation, Parents Against Tired Truckers, the Trucking Alliance, the Truckload Carriers Association and the Truck Safety Coalition.

According to the Federal Motors Carrier Safety Administration, whose most recent published data is from 2017—

  • In 2017, 4,889 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, a 9-percent increase from 2016. Although the number of large trucks and buses in fatal crashes has increased by 42 percent from its low of 3,432 in 2009, the 2017 number is still 7 percent lower than the 21st-century peak of 5,231 in 2005. From 2016 to 2017, large truck and bus fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by all motor vehicles increased by 6.8 percent, from 0.146 to 0.156. 
  • There was a 34-percent decrease in the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses between 2005 and 2009, followed by an increase of 40 percent between 2009 and 2017. From 2016 to 2017, the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses increased by 8 percent.
  • The number of injury crashes involving large trucks or buses decreased steadily from 102,000 in 2002 to 60,000 in 2009 (a decline of 41 percent). From 2009 to 2015, injury crashes increased 62 percent to 97,000 (based on GES data). From 2016 to 2017, according to NHTSA's CRSS data, large truck and bus injury crashes increased 4 percent (from 112,000 in 2016 to 116,000 in 2017).

From 2016 to 2017

  • The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased 10 percent, from 4,251 to 4,657, and the large truck involvement rate (large trucks involved in fatal crashes per 100 million miles traveled by large trucks) increased 6 percent, from 1.48 to 1.56. 
  • The number of large trucks involved in injury crashes increased by 5 percent, from 102,000 to 107,000.
  • The number of large trucks involved in property damage only crashes increased by 3 percent, from 351,000 to 363,000.

Currently, according to many sates already limit speeds on both, truck and passenger vehicles, to 65 mph.

Posted by: AT 06:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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