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Will mandatory speed limiters reduce trucking accidents?

Since March 2014, the Department of Transportation has been working toward mandating the use of Electronic Control Modules (ECM), or speed limiters, for large commercial trucks traveling over U.S. highways. The proposed ruling has experienced nearly two years of delays but, as of April 28, 2016, the Senate's Appropriations Committee passed a 2017 DOT funding bill that would make that date the deadline for publishing the rules for mandating the use of governors or speed limiters on these trucks. There are expectations, though, for this deadline to change due to the slim chance of legislation clearing Congress and the President signing it into law. Those who are opposed to the mandate have no complaints about the delay, though.

The Pros of the Mandate

  • Potentially eliminating nearly 1,115 fatal crashes
  • Minimal investment is required by carriers
  • Many commercial trucks are already equipped with limiters
  • The ATA (American Trucking Association) has already requested that new trucks be built with limiters
  • The RSA (Road Safe America) has already requested retrofitting for all vehicles manufactured since 1990

The Cons of Speed Limiters

  • When trucks are governed by the same speed, they're unable to pass each other, which may result in more crashes.
  • According to studies cited by the OOIDA (Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association), drivers who become impatient with slow truck drivers tend to be the ones who are involved in fatal crashes most often.
  • The OOIDA also makes note that speed limits differ from state to state.
  • The trucking industry has raised concerns about the potential changes in the hours of service rules.

Contact an Attorney if You've Been Injured

If you've been injured in a trucking accident, contact one of the attorneys at The Epstein Law Firm for a free consultation today. With a team of highly trained personal injury attorneys ready to assist you with your claim and answer your questions, you'll be able to put this situation behind you with fewer complications.

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