DOT extends comment period for speed limiter plan

DOT extends comment period for speed limiter plan

Input needed to decide MPH setting

With less than week remaining on the initial deadline, the Dept. of Transportation on Tuesday issued a 30-day extension to file comments on the truck speed limiter proposal.

“The new public comment deadline of Dec. 7 will provide all interested parties sufficient opportunity to fully develop and submit comments and evidentiary materials to the agencies,” the DOT notice says.

While the 118-page proposal suggests that speed limits of 60, 65 or 68 mph would be beneficial, the agencies will gather public input before setting the actual number. The speed limit would be managed by a governing device and would apply to all newly-manufactured vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating more than 26,000 lbs.

Both the American Trucking Assns. and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. had requested more time to evaluate and gather member input on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, published Sept. 7 by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

An ATA petition had prompted the rulemaking, but the DOT proposal has not earned the endorsement of the group.

“In my humble opinion, we think this is flawed,” Chris Spear, ATA’s president and CEO, told reporters last month. “We cannot afford to elevate risk to the motoring public [for] this [speed limiter] rule does not even take the danger of differential speeds for cars and trucks into account.” 

OOIDA, which represents small business truckers, had asked 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.”

More than 3,000 comments have been submitted in the two months since the proposal was posted. Comments may be posted or viewed here.

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