Speed Controls on Commercial Vehicles
In 2016 the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) and NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) issued a joint proposal to mandate speed control devices on trucks. Speed limiters have not been at the foremost of conversation since it was put aside in 2017 by the last presidential administration when they decided to not purse a mandate. However, in 2021 the new Presidential administration brings new conversations to the table with talk of commercial vehicle safety with speed monitoring and safety speed controls.
Just recently the speed limiters and speed controls are the recent topics of conversation with the ATA(American Trucking Associations), OOIDA (Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association) and Department of Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg. The differences of opinion and strong support came to light recently when letters were drafted to the Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. In a recent letter to the Secretary from the President and CEO of the ATA and President and Co-Founder of Road Safe America, dated March 3, 2021, in it they commit to working with the Secretary, Congress and every stakeholder to support CMV safety with speed governance. In contrast to the show of support from the ATA and Road Safe America, OOIDA disagrees and strongly opposes the mandate for speed limiters. In a sort of response letter to Secretary Buttigieg they stated that any type of speed limiting mandate would impose significant costs that a small carrier simply cannot afford to implement or maintain. The position of OOIDA is that they don’t see the use of the technologies to lower speed will be beneficial in the overall scope of things. Instead they feel it will impede productivity of the small businesses and negatively affect their profitability.
In December a proposed Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act called for all new commercial trucks to be equipped with speed limiters and existing speed limiting equipment on trucks manufactured after 1992 to be used while in operation. The American Trucking Associations agrees with this bill that also calls for maximum speeds to be set at 65 mph, or 70 mph if certain safety technologies exist on the vehicle like adaptive cruise control and an automatic emergency braking system. In this bill there is a call for the DOT to review the safety technology that is available and to recommend any improvements to the speed-governing regulations that are in place.
Read the letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Buttigieg here.
On the upside to this topic, truck drivers do get a discount on insurance when their trucks come equipped with or insureds install speed monitoring and speed control systems. When a truck has continuous MVR monitoring and Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) this also entitles insureds to a discount. Many carriers offer discounts for such safety measures.
March 8th, 2021