LAS VEGAS. The American Trucking Assns. doesn’t much like the proposed speed limiter rule it’s been after for a decade, and new ATA President and CEO Chris Spear wasted no time teeing up the DOT plan as a major near-term policy focus.
“We’ve had robust discussions on any number of [policy] fronts,” Spear told reporters in a short press gathering at the conclusion of the annual ATA Management Conference and Exhibition here this week. “But in my opinion, this rule is dangerous as proposed.”
He takes issue with the “safety risk” associated with a rule that proposed three different speeds and no national speed “cap” for tractor-trailers operating on U.S. highways, as opposed to a single common speed for all tractor-trailers with a single “cap” for national speed limits across the country.
“In my humble opinion, we think this is flawed,” Spear said. “We cannot afford to elevate risk to the motoring public [for] this [speed limiter] rule does not even take the danger of differential speeds for cars and trucks into account.”
Following the meeting, Spear and ATA issued a formal statement on the matter.
“It provides insufficient data, and fails to make a recommendation regarding which of the three proposed speeds it believes is best and why,” Spear statement reads. “Most disconcerting is the fact that DOT's new rulemaking does not address the differentials in speed that would exist between any of the three proposed national speed limits for trucks and the speed laws of multiple states – allowing passenger vehicles to travel at much higher speeds than commercial trucks. This lack of data and direction only elevates the safety risks to the motoring public.
“A mandate for a one-size-fits-all speed limiter will squelch innovation in technologies to enhance safety and accommodate not only highways, but potentially secondary roads and beyond."
ATA has requested an extension of the formal comment period to continue to gather input and prepare official comments “fully illustrating the flaws of this proposed rulemaking, which we will not support as currently drafted,” the statement says.