A group of some of the best-known truckload carriers in the country has joined forces with the Atlanta-based RoadSafe America public safety interest group to petition the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to mandate electronic speed governors set at no more than 68 mph for heavy commercial trucks.
The proposed regulation would affect Class 7 and 8 trucks manufactured after 1990, as in 1991 speed governors became standard equipment, said Don Osterberg, vp of safety and training for Schneider National, which is heading up a group of eight other motor carriers, including J.B. Hunt Transport Inc., CR England Inc., Covenant Transport Inc. and Dart Transit Company, to help put this petition before FMCSA.
“This is one of the most important safety initiatives in commercial vehicle transportation in the last 20 years,” said Osterberg. “Historically, carriers have waited for regulations to come down from the federal government and not been actively engaged in the process. What’s unique in this filing is that a core group of responsible carriers is stepping up and initiating a proactive change for improving public safety. This is good for drivers, good for the motoring public and good for the entire trucking industry.”
Bill Graves, president & CEO of the American Trucking Assns. (ATA), has already submitted a letter of support for the petition, which will be available for public comment as soon as it is docketed by FMCSA.
“The 80-mph, 80,000 lb. truck has no place on our highways,” said Steve Owings, who co-founded Road Safe America after he lost his 22-year-old son, Cullum, in a high-speed truck accident. “This petition is a matter of life and death for drivers of passenger cars as well as for professional truck drivers. And it is a matter of economic common sense for the companies that put trucks on the road.”