The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association does not condone
speeding and its members acknowledge that excessive speeding is a legitimate
concern. But the Association has taken a stance against a measure by the ATA to
dictate the top speed of trucks with speed limiters, also known as engine
OOIDA has announced its position on the issue and opposes ATA’s
endorsement of speed limiters to be set on all new trucks at 68 mph at the
point of manufacture.
Approximately 70 ATA members voted to endorse speed limiters at their
annual leadership conference in mid-February in Florida. The vote prompted
OOIDA to respond.
One of the main points OOIDA cites is that even if heavy trucks are
capped at 68 mph, the four-wheeled vehicles are not limited and will continue
to push the posted speed limits. Many states have speed limits higher than 68
Such speed disparity has been studied, and those studies show
differences in speed between cars and trucks lead to more interactions,
maneuvering and safety hazards, according to Steven Johnson, a professor at the
University of Arkansas.
OOIDA also referred to a pilot program in the state of Washington that
put state troopers into truck cabs as ride-alongs. Those troopers used radios
to inform other troopers of violations. Results indicated that of the 5,000
tickets issued, 86 percent of them went to drivers of four-wheelers.
“It may sound like a good thing to slow down all the big trucks, said
Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice president. “But unless you slow down all the
other vehicles too, you’ve really only made things more dangerous. That’s why
some states are increasing previously lower speeds for trucks.”
Instead of speed limiters activated on truck engines, OOIDA encourages
driver training, compliance with speed laws and other safety measures having to
do with sharing the road.