Slower Trucks?

On August 26, 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed a nationwide limit on the speed of trucks and buses weighing more than 26,000 lbs. The speeds being considered are 60, 65, and 68. The agencies intend to force compliance with whatever speed they choose by mandating that new trucks be manufactured with electronics that will limit maximum speed. Older trucks and buses will probably be exempted, although technology limiting top speed has been available for many years.

It is believed that lowering truck and bus speeds will reduce the 1,115 fatal truck crashes each year and save more than 1 billion dollars in fuel costs annually.

Needless to say, the trucking industry opposes the proposed rule by saying that it is unsafe. Cynically, I think they are saying the rule is unsafe to their bottom line and, with fuel costs and oil prices low, fuel saving is not a prime concern.

An interesting little known additional fact was revealed in media coverage. Most truck tires are designed for a maximum speed of 75 mph. Faster speeds can cause tire failure. 14 states allow truck speeds equal to or greater than the maximum speed for which truck tires are designed. Texas is one of those states.

I know the trucking and bus industries don’t like it, but it makes sense to slow them down and enforce laws that require them to drive to the right side of the road.