The American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association have filed separate requests with U.S. DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx asking he and two of his sub-agencies to extend the formal comment period on the recently published proposal to require use of speed limiters on heavy-duty trucks.
OOIDA has asked the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to double the comment period from 60 days to 120 days, which would push the comment period’s deadline to January 7. ATA has asked for a 30-day extension, which would give carriers until Dec. 7 to file comments.
ATA, who filed a petition in 2007 asking the DOT to implement a speed limiter mandate in the trucking industry, calls the DOT’s Aug. 26-released proposed “a dramatic departure” from its petition. Moreover, it says, the industry’s safety culture has seen much change in the 9 years since its initial petition, due to greater adoption of safety technology and greater regulatory oversight via the DOT’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.
“The proposed rule’s dramatic departure from ATA’s initial petition in terms of tamper proofing, the lack of a retrofit requirement, and the agencies’ reluctance to specify a governed speed requires additional time for ATA and its federation partners to reengage its membership on these important issues,” ATA writes in its request.
OOIDA says its members need more than the current 60-day comment period to “adequately respond” to regulators proposed rule to require trucks weighing more than 27,000 pounds to use a speed governor that limits truck speeds to an undetermined speed, likely 60, 65 or 68 mph.
“This is one of the most significant NPRMs in decades as it relates to the safety of the traveling public, roadway efficiency, and the livelihood of our nation’s professional truck drivers. One way or another, the outcome of this NPRM will impact everyone,” OOIDA says in its request. “Considering what is at stake, as well as the amount of time and resources it will take for OOIDA and our members – many of which are on the road and away from home for 250 days (or more) each year – to develop meaningful comments, DOT should accept our reasonable request for a 60-day extension to file comments.”
NHTSA and FMCSA published the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Sept. 7, initiating the 60-day public comment period in which fleets, owner-operators, industry stakeholders and the public at large can file formal comments related the rule and its requirements.
The rule was short on several key details, such as what the speed limit for trucks would be and to what extend the rule would be retroactive for trucks already in use. The agencies are looking for feedback from industry stakeholders to help guide it in crafting the final rule.