Regulators propose speed cap for bus and truck drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are seeking to limit the speeds at which large commercial vehicles can travel on highways. California drivers might want to be aware that the regulators would use electronic speed-limiting devices to enforce the cap on vehicles heavier than 26,000 pounds.

By capping speeds, the government says that it could reduce the number of annual fatal accidents that involve heavy trucks. The cap would save companies $1 billion on gas as well. Additionally, it is expected to improve safety in states where the speed limit is higher than 75 mph, which is the fastest that truck tires are designed to go.

The proposal is 10 years in the making, since Roadsafe America first issued its petition for capping speeds in 2006. The son of the organization's founder was killed in 2002 by a tractor-trailer driver who was speeding. The founder says that he is happy the technology might be used soon but disappointed that it took so long. However, many truck drivers say that it could cause dangerous scenarios because they would be traveling much slower than others on the road.

Regulators say the cost to implement the proposal would be minimal since all 3.6 million commercial trucks in the country already have the devices installed. Some of the devices just need to be set to a limit. The proposal is open for public comment for 60 days before regulators decide on a speed limit and determine whether the regulation should be enforced.

Speeding is a common cause of accidents across the country. When it involves tractor-trailer trucks or other large commercial vehicles, the injuries are more likely to be fatal because of the sheer weight and force of the vehicles against smaller passenger cars. The victims of such crashes that have been caused by truck driver negligence may want to have help from a lawyer in seeking compensation for their losses.

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