Bill on speed limiters reintroduced in Congress

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The bill is named for 22-year-old Atlanta resident Cullum Owings, who was killed in a car-truck collision in 2002 while returning to college.
The bill is named for 22-year-old Atlanta resident Cullum Owings, who was killed in a car-truck collision in 2002 while returning to college.

A bill most recently introduced in 2019 that would mandate speed limiters on all trucks manufactured after 1992 has been reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Georgia) and Rep. John Katko (R-New York) introduced the Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act on May 25.

The bill, if made law, would require all new commercial motor vehicles to be equipped with speed limiters, require existing speed-limiting technologies already installed in commercial motor vehicles manufactured after 1992 to be used while in operation, and require that the maximum safe operating speed of commercial motor vehicles not exceed 65 miles per hour, or 70 miles per hour with certain safety technologies, such as an adaptive cruise control system and an automatic emergency braking system.

[Related: Speed limiter debate reignited with new administration]

The bill is named for 22-year-old Atlanta resident Cullum Owings, who was killed in a car-truck collision in 2002 while returning to college. The legislation was long championed by former Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson and is endorsed by the Truckload Carriers Association, the Trucking Alliance, AAA, the Institute for Safer Trucking, Road Safe America (founded by Cullum Owings' father) and the Safe Operating Speed Alliance.

“The safety and security of our families, our friends, and our loved ones is always of the utmost priority,” McBath said. “The Owings family has done so much to protect other children like Cullum, and I want to thank them for all they have done. No family in America should ever have to experience the same pain of losing a loved one so needlessly. This is an important, bipartisan step to make our roadways safer, protect drivers, and stop these heartbreaking crashes from happening.” 

[Related: Senate bill to mandate a 65 mph speed limit a 'terrible idea']