Industry sounds off on speed limiter, voices concern over potential spike in road rage

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) published notice of intent to proceed with rulemaking to mandate speed limiters on most heavy-duty trucks has been published in the Federal Register, kicking off a 30-day-long public comment period. 

Trucking stakeholders and the general public are invited to submit comments here

Aside from how speed limiters might impact driver pay and create supply chain inefficiencies, a common theme among many of the comments – the many of which thus far oppose mandated speed limiter use – is that passenger cars, frustrated by slower commercial trucks all governed to the same speed, would actually make the roads less safe. 

Below are some of the comments filed in The Register since the period opened. To-date, there have been close to 5,500 comments filed, and the comment period is open for the next 25 days. Please note that some comments were edited for clarity or brevity only. 

Forcing every commercial truck on the road to travel at some arbitrary speed that is deemed safe by people that have never driven commercially is government overreach at its finest. It will not make the highways safer. Studies have shown that split speed limits for trucks and cars are more dangerous. According to the FMCSA's own numbers automobiles are at fault over 80% of the time when involved in an accident with commercial trucks. The proposed rule will have the opposite affect of safety. It will also further the anger that the general public feels towards trucks when they're on their daily commute. Speed limiters are dangerous for commercial truck drivers and the general public alike. If states wish to have lower speed limits, they are allowed to do so already under current rules. Forcing all commercial trucks to go slower than a posted speed limit helps no one and improves safety for no one.This proposed rule should be discarded immediately. Whoever proposed it should be terminated for lack of knowledge about key issues related to their job. Anyone that votes to pass this rule should be ashamed of their self for voting to make roads more dangerous and for decreasing drivers miles/pay. – Joshua Reigles 

This idea is horrible. You all need to ride in a truck for a week. You would then see the real side of trucks. Just because it looks good on paper. it doesn't mean it's safe. If all trucks are going the same speed, cars will get mad and try to get around no matter the risk they take. It's a very bad idea and will further cripple the industry. So many of us will leave the industry and park the trucks. You can't get the supply chain caught up now. What do you think will happen with fewer trucks on the road? Stop trying to control our every move. We aren't robots. – John Cochran

To limit CMV’s without limiting speed on personal vehicles is a recipe for disaster in added accidents, increased road rage incidents and increased aggressive driving incidents. Not by the CMVs, but by the personal vehicles we will be impeding. – James Black

The problem is not the speed of trucks. It is the lack of respect and aggressive driving by non-commercial vehicles, which cause the majority of accidents. By limiting commercial vehicles, it will only make the situation worse by creating even more aggressive driving behaviors and more interactions between commercial and non-commercial vehicles. – Kenneth Walker

... You will be looking at a huge increase in road rage incidents of this goes through. Maybe put a max at 75 mph, which is what our tires on the trailer are rated at, but anything under 70 will be regretted the second a rule maker gets stuck behind two idiots. – Christopher Cooper

... Also, we will not be able to get a run for the hills and it will slow us down even more climbing the hills. I can’t tell you how many large companies that have their trucks limited to 65 mph are essentially rolling roadblocks going uphill. Instead of limiting speed, why not step up enforcement of reckless behavior of passenger vehicle drivers as well as commercial drivers? – Tyler DeBarr

Speed limiters are already making situations unsafe on the roads. All it does is make things worse. It’s frustrating and it makes both parties angry. If this is going to happen then make all roads to at least four lanes so slow traffic can pass safely. Remember, we get paid by the mile. Also, if we get slowed down, which it already does, it’s gonna cause more rushing and aggressive driving... it’s really unsafe for all of us. – Martin Diaz

If you limit all trucks to one set speed – lower than the speed of cars – you are likely to create a situation of having two trucks, side-by-side, traveling at their limited speed, neither one being able to pass the other, and creating a bottleneck of traffic. This bottleneck could cause an impatient driver of a car to take the shoulder the pass the trucks, which would be very unsafe. This will cause more safety concerns than it will fix. – Michael Palmer

If you want more road rage and accidents make it mandatory for all trucks to do 65... – Gary Bucher