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Proposal would require heavy-duty vehicles to use speed-limiting devices

Aug. 29, 2016
The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have proposed equipping heavy-duty vehicles with devices that limit their speeds on US roadways, requiring those devices be set to a maximum speed.

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have proposed equipping heavy-duty vehicles with devices that limit their speeds on US roadways, requiring those devices be set to a maximum speed. This safety measure could save lives and more than $1 billion in fuel costs each year.

“There are significant safety benefits to this proposed rulemaking,” said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “In addition to saving lives, the projected fuel and emissions savings make this proposal a win for safety, energy conservation, and our environment.”

The department’s proposal would establish safety standards requiring all newly manufactured US trucks, buses, and multipurpose passenger vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating more than 26,000 pounds to come equipped with speed-limiting devices.  The proposal discusses the benefits of setting the maximum speed at 60, 65, and 68 miles per hour, but the agencies will consider other speeds based on public input.

“This is basic physics,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind.  “Even small increases in speed have large effects on the force of impact. Setting the speed limit on heavy vehicles makes sense for safety and the environment.”

“Safe trucking moves our economy, and safe bus operations transport our loved ones,” said FMCSA Administrator T F Scott Darling, III. “This proposal will save lives while ensuring that our nation’s fleet of large commercial vehicles operates efficiently.”

Under the proposal, motor carriers operating commercial vehicles in interstate commerce would be responsible for maintaining speed-limiting devices at or below the designated speed for the service life of the vehicle.  While the maximum set travel speed will be determined in the final rule, estimates included in the proposal demonstrate that limiting heavy vehicles will save lives.

Requiring speed limiting devices could also save an estimated $1.1 billion in fuel costs and millions of gallons of fuel annually.

The public is encouraged to submit their comments on the proposed rule at www.regulations.gov.

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