Trucking to Obama: We want speed limiters mandated

US trucking lobby wants heavy vehicles limited to a maximum speed of 104km/h.

Trucking to Obama: We want speed limiters mandated
ATA President and CEO Bill Graves says the top speed of large trucks needs to be capped at 104km/h.


The US trucking industry is continuing its push for mandatory speed limiters to be installed in large trucks to restrict their top speed to 104km/h.

Almost nine years after it first called for electronic speed controls, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) is again trying to propel the issue to the forefront of the US Government's agenda.

The ATA first raised the matter with the Bush administration in 2006 and then received a commitment from president Barack Obama in 2011 that devices would be introduced to limit a truck’s speed, but nothing has happened.

"In 2006, as part of our longstanding commitment to highway safety, ATA petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to require the speed limiter on all large trucks be set in order to electronically limit their top speed to no more than 65mph [104km/h]," ATA President and CEO Bill Graves says.

"We waited patiently until the government finally said in January 2011 they would move ahead with a speed limiter mandate, but this common-sense regulation has been mired in bureaucracy for over four years now. It is long past time for NHTSA and FMCSA to move ahead with this rule."

The ATA claims speed limiters will help reduce the rate and severity of crashes. It says 18 per cent of fatal crashes where a large truck is at fault is due to driving too fast for the conditions or over the posted speed limit.

"Even though roughly 70 per cent of trucking companies use electronic limiters, that is not enough," Graves says.

The ATA also wants the national speed limit set at 104km/h.

ATA chairman Duane Long chairs transport firm Longistics and says the company limits its trucks to 104km/h because of safety and economic benefits.

"Our safety record is better because we limit speeds, we use less fuel because we limit speeds and we spend less on repairs and maintenance of our trucks because we limit our speeds," Long says.

In Australia, Queensland-based transport company Simon National Carriers is well-known for limiting the speed of its trucks to 90km/h to reduce fuel consumption and improve road safety.


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