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FMCSA extends speed-limiter comment period

May 31, 2022
After receiving requests from ATA and OOIDA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has added 45 days to the comment period in advance of its notice of proposed rulemaking.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is giving trucking industry stakeholders another 45 days to comment on its proposed speed limiter rulemaking.

FMCSA made the move after receiving requests for an extension from the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). Comments on the advance notice of proposed rulemaking now must be received on or before July 18. FMCSA had previously set the date for June 3. To submit your comment online, go here, click “Comment,” and type your comment into the text box on the following screen.

FMCSA's most recent notice of intent (NOI) was published on April 27. If made into a final rule, the maximum speed of commercial vehicles—in excess of 26,000 lb. gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight, whichever is higher—involved in interstate commerce will be governed via their electronic engine control units (ECUs). The rule would cover Classes 7-8 commercial vehicles.

FMCSA has not identified what that maximum speed will be, but users will have “to maintain that ECU setting for the service life of the vehicle,” according to the agency's NOI.

See also: ATA, OOIDA weigh in on FMCSA’s plan to mandate speed limiters

In April, ATA pointed out that FMCSA’s most recent NOI is just the beginning of a “lengthy process,” as there is no defined speed setting and no proposed timeframe for implementing speed devices.

“We have consistently opposed efforts by anti-truck groups to pursue a speed-limiter rule setting speeds in the low 60s,” ATA stated.

ATA stated that it supports a maximum set speed of 70 mph in trucks equipped with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. In trucks without those features, ATA’s policy supports a maximum set speed of 65 mph.  

See also: Opinion: Crash data defies logic of speed-limiter mandate

OOIDA, on the other hand, has criticized FMCSA about proceeding with a speed limiter rulemaking altogether. The group maintains that “policies and devices that limit speeds for large trucks create unnecessary congestion and dangerous speed differentials among vehicles, which lead to higher accident involvement rates.”

“Studies and research have already proven what we were all taught long ago in driver’s ed classes, that traffic is safest when vehicles all travel at the same relative speed,” OOIDA President Todd Spencer said in a statement. “Limiting trucks to speeds below the flow of traffic increases interactions between vehicles which can lead to more crashes.”

FMCSA initially started its speed-limiter mandate process in August 2016. At the time, the effort, initially a proposed rulemaking between FMCSA and the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration, sought comment from the trucking industry and the public on limiting speeds on trucks at either 60, 65, or 68 mph

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