In a move projected to save lives, the U.S. Transportation Department has proposed that trucks and buses be equipped with devices to limit their speeds. With speed limits varying across the U.S. all the way up to 85mph in some states, the department is considering setting maximum speed limits to 60, 65 or 68 for new commercial vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds using the speed devices. The government believes that decreasing speeds for new large vehicles will reduce fatal motor vehicle accidents involving heavy trucks and save up to a billion in fuel costs annually.
The petition for speed caps was first raised by a non-profit group, Roadsafe America, which was founded by the parents of a young Virginia man killed by a speeding tractor-trailer in an accident back in 2002. The non-profit, supported by the nation’s largest trucking industry group, American Trucking Associations, is hopeful that the new rules will pass, but would like to see the millions of older trucks on today’s highways retrofitted with the technology also.
While some carriers already using speed limiters believe they are a smart move in terms of safety and economy, many truckers believe that the changes could lead to dangerous situations on the road by limiting their ability to respond to extraordinary conditions. The deciding government agencies caught in the middle of the debate are open to public comment for the next 60 days, after which, they will determine if the regulation should be approved and at what speed limit.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Iowa truck accident involving one of the many trucks that traverse the state daily, contact the truck accident injury law offices of John T. Hemminger for help. Because large commercial vehicles have the potential to cause devastating accidents, their owners and drivers are required to follow certain regulations. Violations of these rules can include drivers operating while fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, unqualified or under-qualified drivers, improper maintenance, improper loading of cargo resulting in lost loads or rollovers and basic traffic violations.
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