The two largest trucking trade associations each have asked the Dept. of Transportation for more time to study the recently published truck speed limiter proposal, citing the rule’s complexity, changing industry dynamics, and the “significant” impact of such a regulation.
In Sept. 9 letters to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, the American Trucking Assns. (ATA) and the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Assn. (OOIDA) made their respective cases for an extended public comment period.
“The rule, as proposed, would have a significant impact on the whole of ATA’s membership and many more industry participants,” writes ATA, which had petitioned for a speed limiter mandate 10 years ago.
The organization and its state affiliates, along with the Truckload Carriers Assn. (TCA), note that “much has changed in vehicle and motor carrier safety” over the decade. The letter points to the development and adoption of safety technologies, the greater scrutiny of carriers under the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability program, and electronic logs as examples.
“These developments, along with new state laws and speed limits, have changed the way motor carriers view and respond to safety concerns,” ATA says.
Additionally, ATA points to the proposed rule’s “dramatic departure” from the initial petition, in terms of tamper proofing protections, the lack of a retrofit requirement, and the DOT’s reluctance to specify a governed speed. ATA requests an additional 30 days “to reengage its membership” on the matter.
OOIDA, which represents small business truckers, asks for a 60-day extension of the comment period, citing the “wide range of issues” related to limiting truck speed and noting that the proposal is “based on complex research that in some instances is being used in an unconventional way.”
“This is one of the most significant NPRMs in decades as it relates to the safety of the traveling public, roadway efficiency, and the livelihood of our nation’s professional truck drivers,” OOIDA writes. “One way or another, the outcome of this NPRM will impact everyone.”
The comment period is currently scheduled to run through Nov. 7. Comments may be filed at regulations.gov.