Following the ATA’s announcement that they expect speed limiters to be required on every CMV and that they should top out at no more than 65mph, the rest of the industry are making their voices heard in response.
Unsurprisingly, chief among the opponents to mandatory speed limiters was OOIDA. Executive Vice President Todd Spencer sent a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration outlining exactly why mandatory speed limiters are such a bad idea. In the letter, Spencer focuses mostly on how creating a huge difference between the speed of trucks and the cars around them can only end badly, but he raises other good points as well.
Here’s a quote that sums it up nicely:
“To the casual observer, mandating speed limiters on heavy-duty vehicles might seem like a ‘safety silver bullet.’ Professional drivers know, however, that highway safety is not so simple.”
Indeed, the issue seems to be that the ATA and the FMCSA see speed as a factor in accidents and so jump to the conclusion that to prevent those accidents, they simply need to make it impossible to drive too fast. On paper, they may be right. But what they fail to see – in addition to the speed difference point OOIDA made – are the real-world situations that drivers find themselves in where they need to be able to speed up in order to avoid an accident or dangerous situation.
The FMCSA has been in the process of coming up with a mandatory speed limiter rule for some time now, so it seems unlikely that they will ever change their stance on these “safety features.”
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