The Owner-Operator Independent Driver Assn. (OOIDA) has sharply criticized the U.S. Dept. of Transportation for its proposal to require speed limiters on trucks over 26,000 lb. GVWR, accusing the agency for being “all to willing to appease big business.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requested comments on the proposal after the American Trucking Assns. petitioned the agencies for the mandate last fall.
“[Trucking companies] want a government mandate to do it because they know their drivers, whom they pay only for miles driven, would move to another company with a less restrictive speed policy,” stated Todd Spencer, executive vp of OOIDA. “And they want to deny shippers the option of choosing trucking companies that place a higher priority on on-time service.”
He added that “very few” highway accidents involve trucks operating at speeds greater than 68 mph, the suggested ceiling for speed limited-trucks in the proposal.
“There is nothing desirable about turning trucks into rolling roadblocks and obstacles for other drivers,” said Spencer.
The speed limiter debate certainly isn’t a new one north of the border. In 2005, the Ontario Trucking Assn. (OTA), which is a member of the Canadian Trucking Alliance, called on the provincial government to limit trucks to no more than 105 kph (65 mph). OTA said such a mandate would save fuel and promote safer highways.