Federal Update
Secretary’s office punts speed limiters back to NHTSA

By David Tanner, associate editor

The DOT’s Office of the Secretary has punted a notice of proposed rulemaking for speed limiters on heavy trucks back to the agency that submitted it.

Without a publicly stated reason, the OST returned the proposal to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on April 18, just over a month after the agency submitted it on behalf of two petitioning groups, the American Trucking Associations and Roadsafe America.

NHTSA plans to resubmit the proposal on or about July 26.

The ATA and Roadsafe America filed petitions in November 2005, urging NHTSA to require speed limiters to be set at 68 mph on trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds.

Five years later, the agency granted the petition and developed a notice of proposed rulemaking in March 2011. A notice of proposed rulemaking, known as an NPRM, is a proposal and not a final rule.

Then, following 19 months of inactivity, NHTSA submitted its proposal to the Office of the Secretary on March 4.

NHTSA believes the installation of speed limiters on heavy trucks would reduce fatalities in crashes involving CMVs on roads with posted speed limits of 55 mph or above.

OOIDA, whose members and leadership make highway safety a priority, opposes an industry-wide mandate for speed limiters.

The Association supports uniform speeds on the highways and not the forced speed differential among vehicle classes that a speed-limiter mandate would create. Research presented by OOIDA in official comments shows that uniform speeds are the safest and that speed differentials increase vehicle interactions and lead to unsafe maneuvering. LL