You don’t have to spend much time on any major highway before you feel like your vehicle is about to be blown away by the semis racing past you. The American Trucking Associations, the nation’s premier trucking industry trade group, recognizes the significant public safety risk posed by these speed demons and last week petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to limit the maximum speed of large trucks at the time of manufacture to no more than 68 miles per hour.
In a complementary move, ATA also petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to prohibit the tampering or adjustment of the speed limiting devices, known as speed limiters (or governors), to greater than 68 miles per hour.
“For the sake of safety, there is a need to slow down all traffic,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “The trucking industry is trying to do its part with this initiative. No vehicle should be capable of operating at excessive speeds on our nation’s highways.”
ATA’s safety action is aimed at reducing the number and severity of speed-related crashes among all vehicles on U.S. highways. It is part of a comprehensive trucking industry highway safety initiative that has produced a record low crash rate. Other ATA safety initiatives include a call for universal primary safety belt laws in the 50 states and greater enforcement of traffic laws against unsafe driving actions around large trucks.
According to the ATA, the federal government’s lack of focus on speed in crashes involving large trucks represents a significant gap in its truck safety strategy. The majority of the federal truck safety budget is focused on ensuring safe equipment, driver fatigue and preventing impaired driving, which the industry supports. Research indicates, however, that speed is a more significant factor in crashes involving trucks than any other factor that currently receives a larger proportion of government attention and resources.
The American Trucking Associations, the national trade association for the trucking industry, is a federation of affiliated state trucking associations, conferences and organizations that represents more than 37,000 motor carrier members from every class of motor carriers.