It is no secret that trucks cause serious accidents and fatalities on Southern California roads. Even the trucking industry understands that truck accidents are a problem and is asking that a federal law be passed requiring all trucks to have speed-limiting devices.

While trucks are not supposed to drive faster than 55 miles per hour on California highways, truckers speed daily. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the number of crashes in 2012 included:

  • 3,802 trucks involved in fatal crashes
  • 77,000 trucks involved in injury crashes
  • 253,000 trucks involved in property damage only crashes

What the Proposed Law Would Require

The American Trucking Association, the nation’s largest trucking industry group, wants the government to move more quickly to mandate electronic speed-limiting devices on big-rig trucks. They petitioned FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2006 for this rule change, but it still has not been implemented. There is new concern about trucks driving at high speeds given a news report by the Associated Press that truck tires are not designed to go over 75 miles per hour. The rule would require all big-rig trucks to install speed-limiting devices to limit truck speeds to no more than 65 miles per hour.

Approximately 70 percent of trucking companies already have speed-limiting devices installed on their trucks. However, many trucks drive faster than 75 miles per hour, and 14 states have speed limits of 75 miles per hour or higher for trucks. Even the American Trucking Association understands the dangers of speeding trucks and believes our roads would be safer if trucks were not permitted to drive faster than 65 miles per hour. While California law goes further and limits truck speeds on highways to 55 miles per hour, many truckers do not obey this law and requiring speed-limiting devices could force them to slow down.

Do you think this new rule should be passed? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982
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