DOT Secretary Foxx says proposal on speed limiters could happen this fall

By David Tanner, Land Line senior editor | Wednesday, April 22, 2015

During a question-and-answer session with a Senate subcommittee on Wednesday, April 22, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said he is confident that DOT agencies will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking to require speed limiters on heavy trucks by the fall of this year.

Foxx made the statement after Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, pressed him about why the DOT agencies involved in the proposed rulemaking on speed limiters have pushed back a rule 21 times since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration granted a 2006 petition by American Trucking Associations and Roadsafe America in 2011.

Earlier this month, NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration pushed back their intended publication dates once again, this time from late June to late July. Add in a 60-day comment period and the proposal gets pushed back from late August to late September at the earliest.

OOIDA and small-business truckers oppose a government mandate for speed limiters.

Below is a transcription of Collins’ question and Foxx’s response. Collins chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. The hearing was on the Department of Transportation’s proposed six-year $478 billion plan to fund transportation.

Collins: “One important way to reduce highway fatalities is to require the installation of speed-limiting devices on heavy trucks. This is something the trucking industry itself (Editor’s note: It was the ATA) has petitioned the department for, and the department has received literally thousands of comments in support of the petitioners’ requests.

“The FMCSA itself believes that this regulation would decrease the number of fatal crashes annually and would have minimal cost since these governors are already installed on many trucks. Yet this regulation has lingered within the department since, I believe, 2011, and has been delayed 21 times. Could you tell us why the department has failed to issue these regulations on speed limiters so many years after the initial petition, despite widespread support and evidence of their effectiveness?”

Foxx: “First of all, I want to commend not only you but many of the stakeholders that are pushing for this because we do believe there is a benefit to having a rule in place here.

Of course, some of it predates me, but from an agency perspective, there has been a lot of work done to quantify the safety benefits in terms of crashes, injuries and fatalities that would be prevented. The department also had to complete analysis of fatality analysis reporting systems (FARS) and general estimate systems data as well as research to provide sound estimates of safety benefits prior to submitting the rulemaking proposal.

“Having said all of that, I can tell you that there is a notice of proposed rulemaking that is working its way through the department currently, and I’m looking forward to getting that out as soon as possible, hopefully no later than the fall.”

 

Editor's note: This article was updated on Thursday, April 23, to reflect the accurate status of the rulemaking.

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