Earlier this week, I wrote a post discussing the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) push to install speed limiting devices in heavy commercial trucks. You can read that post at — Proposed Rule Would Stop Speeding Truckers. I think the proposal is an important safety step. At our firm, we have seen far too many families destroyed by a tragic highway crash involving an eighteen wheeler truck.
Much of the trucking industry supports the proposal for speed limiting devices. However, some drivers oppose the new rule. Some of the negative commentary is disappointing and troubling — such as threats to block lanes, generalized complaints against all regulation, claims that regular drivers cause all problems and protests that truckers should be allowed to drive as fast as they want. Such protests should not be a part of this important safety discussion.
However, we do understand valid concerns by some truck drivers that highway conditions or traffic flows might require a temporary change in speed. The DOT has proposed a period of discussion to determine the maximum speed setting for the new devices. While a slight increase may be understandable to account for these temporary conditions, does any fully loaded eighteen wheeler need to barrel down the highway as fast as its engine will allow? Certainly not. A reasonable limit exists and should be applied. A reasonable limit would protect lives.
I decided to supplement my earlier post after reading an opinion article by two trucking professionals. Their article is titled, Trucking Regulations Don’t Address Biggest Risk — Unsafe Behavior. No, I have not changed my opinion that speed limiting devices can be a valuable safety tool. I still believe the rule should be implemented. While these professionals speak against the proposed speed rule, they do so in a reasonable manner. And, they provide valuable insight into many other possible safety steps. Their discussion includes topics like driver education, CDL standards and distracted driving. It’s an interesting read on several highway safety topics. Some of these safety topics should also be developed and implemented for increased highway safety.