Bill would restrict truck speed

Limiting truck speeds to 65 mph would prevent between 63 and 214 deaths each year, according to a Department of Transportation regulation proposal. Because this proposal has been languishing for almost 10 years, two senators introduced a bill that would electronically restrict tractor-trailer speeds to 65 mph. The bill's proponents claim that it will prevent fatal truck accidents.

There are 1,115 deadly accidents involving heavy truck annually on roads with speed limits of 55 mph or higher, according to the bill's sponsors. Most trucks in this country are equipped with speed-limiting software. But, this device is not always used. Most other countries require this device to limit truck speeds.

New trucks would have to be equipped with speed limiters that must be activated, if the bill is approved. The requirement would also apply to existing vehicles that have this technology installed. Trucks without this technology, however, would not have to be retrofitted.

The bill will also resolve another danger. Most heavy truck tires are not rated to travel over 75 mph even though some states have speed limits of 80 mph. There may be blowouts and accidents when trucks exceed this tire speed rating.

Highway advocacy groups support this measure. Trucking industry groups, however, oppose it and argue that the restriction would cause dangerous speed differences between trucks and cars that will lead to accidents and traffic congestion.

Victims of tractor-trailer crashes face serious and even fatal injuries because of the large size differential between trucks and cars. Attorneys can help victims and their families seek compensation for these accidents.

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