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NHTSA proposal calls for lower national speed limit for trucks

Published on Aug 27, 2016 at 5:57 pm in General Blogs.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s day or night, or whether road conditions are perfect or abysmal, there’s simply nothing more terrifying for motorists than seeing a fully-loaded truck bearing down on them in the rearview mirror or go barreling by them at a high rate of speed.

While encounters with speeding semis are both frightening and frustrating for motorists, they can also be deadly. Indeed, safety experts indicate that speed plays a major role in the thousands of fatal truck accidents that take place here in the U.S. every year.

The good news is that the days of big rigs racing to meet deadlines and hurting innocent motorists in the process may soon be drawing to a close thanks to a proposal introduced yesterday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The proposal, which is subject to public comment for the next 60 days, calls for the speed limit for all vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds to be capped at 60, 65 or 68 miles-per-hour via electronic speed limiting devices.

According to the agencies, this call for mandatory electronic speed limiters would greatly reduce the number of fatal truck crashes and save over $1 billion in fuel costs. As for the cost of installation, the agencies estimate that it would be minimal given that much of the nation’s trucking fleet is already equipped with them, such that it would only be a matter of activating the devices and setting the speed limit.

News of the proposal came as a welcome surprise to groups like the Roadsafe America and the American Trucking Associations, which have been lobbying for such a rule for many years and grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress on Capitol Hill.

As for what happens next, once the window closes for public comment, the NHTSA and the FMCSA will determine what the speed limit for large vehicles should be and, more significantly, if the regulation should be enacted.

Stay tuned for updates …

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident caused by the recklessness of a trucker or trucking company, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about your options for seeking justice.

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