A proposed safety rule by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was recently published in the Federal Register. The rule change in question would require the use of electronic speed limiting devices in all vehicles weighing more than 26,000 lbs. Already, this idea has created quite a bit of controversy between government officials and industry experts, who strongly disagree with one another as to how the new rule would impact safety.
According Anthony Foxx, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, the use of speed regulators would save lives and reduce the severity of crashes involving heavy vehicles. He also claims there would be a reduction of more than $1 billion in fuel costs annually. Foxx is so convinced that this proposal is a good idea that he has vowed to make it a top priority for his administration.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) strongly disagrees with Foxx’s assessment. A spokesperson for that group has released a statement claiming that speed regulators would be dangerous not only for commercial drivers, but for operators of other vehicles on the road. According to OOIDA, the use of governors would create “speed differentials” that would ultimately cause more accidents and lead to greater incidents of road rage.
The 90-day comment period following the proposed rule’s publication in the Federal Register has now passed. Meanwhile, President Trump has issued an Executive Order to curtail agencies from making new regulations, essentially halting the FMCSA and NHTSA from officially enacting this rule. Only time will tell whether or not this law is merely stalled or is completely scrapped altogether.