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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Are You Ready for a Federally Mandated Truck Speed Limit?

NEVER forget, 15 years of misery! 
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I say NO and if you agree, your action is needed now, time's almost up. Join with the National Motorists Association and OOIDA to speak your mind. See the NMA post by Gary Biller below, links provided:

Your Comments Required by December 7: NHTSA Proposing to Limit Truck Speeds

Dear NMA Members, 
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)  have issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit public comments on their recommendation to limit the speed of trucks that weigh 26,000 pounds or more.  The NMA joins OOIDA, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association which represents 158,000 truckers across the country, in opposing this proposal.  

If this plan to slow down trucks is going to be defeated, we will need NMA members to act in force to let NHTSA know that this is a bad idea.  You can do so at this online address
for public comments to Docket No. NHTSA-2016-0087-0001.  The text of the proposal can be found at this link along with instructions on how to include your comments.  Please note that the comment period closes on Nov 7, 2016.  We have the next month to add the critical voice of motorists to the discussion.

Comments like this have already been posted:  “If all trucks on the highway should have speed limiters set to the same speed, we should require it for every vehicle on the road.”  The slippery slope theory applies here: First, trucks will be artificially speed-limited and next it will be all vehicles. 

It is interesting to note too that the NHTSA/FMCSA proposal does not recommend a speed at which trucks should be limited – 60 mph? 65? 68?  Supporting this open-ended rule is akin handing a blank check to a contractor.

Below are a few points we have put together in opposition to the NHTSA proposal.  You are welcome to use any or all of them, but we suggest that you also include your own observations and experiences about the negative effect of slow-moving trucks on safe and efficient highway traffic flow.  The more each comment is personalized, the greater influence it will have.
  • In a report released in April 2015, “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2013”, FMCSA reported that from 2011 to 2013, 80 percent of fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred at speed limits posted no higher than 65 mph. Nearly 60 percent of the crashes were on roads posted at 55 mph or lower.  Limiting truck speeds, particularly to 65 mph or less, in the name of safety disregards the facts.  
  • Situations may dictate that truck drivers speed up to avoid collisions or road hazards.  Speed limiters can take this critical safety option away from drivers when they need it most.  
  • Established research shows that the risk of crash involvement is significantly higher for vehicles traveling 5 to 10 mph under the average speed of traffic than at or a few miles per hour above that average speed.  That speed variance between truck and car is exactly what speed limiters will accentuate, generating more instances of lane changing, braking, and accelerating by light vehicles either out of expediency or frustration.  The number of truck-related accidents will increase, not decrease, if the proposed rule is enacted.  
  • Proponents of the proposed rule claim that speed limiters could save over $1.1 billion in fuel costs, an estimate that is largely unsubstantiated.  Historically, projections of fuel savings at lower vehicle speeds have been grossly overstated.  For example, when the 55 mph National Maximum Speed Limit was enacted in 1973, federal officials predicted a 2.2 percent savings in gasoline consumption.  The Office of Driver Research in the U.S. Department of Transportation subsequently found the fuel savings to be 1 percent, and some independent studies determined the savings to be a much lower 0.5 percent.    
Please join the NMA and OOIDA in strongly opposing the proposed rule to put speed limiters on trucks.  Register your comments at this site no later than November 7th

Thank you,

Gary Biller

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