NTSB Most Wanted List recommends speed limiters

April 7, 2021

Mark Schremmer

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The National Transportation Safety Board’s latest list of safety recommendations includes requiring speed limiters on commercial motor vehicles, and taking steps to prevent individuals from driving while drunk or distracted.

The NTSB released its 2021-222 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements during a board meeting on Tuesday, April 6. The board unveiled 10 areas of improvement.

  • Require and verify the effectiveness of safety management systems in all revenue passenger-carrying aviation operations.
  • Prevent alcohol and other drug-impaired driving.
  • Require collision avoidance and connected vehicle technologies on all vehicles.
  • Eliminate distracted driving.
  • Implement a comprehensive strategy to eliminate speeding-related crashes.
  • Install crash-resistant recorders and establish flight data monitoring programs.
  • Protect vulnerable road users through a safe system approach.
  • Improve pipeline leak detection and mitigation.
  • Improve rail worker safety.
  • Improve passenger and fishing vessel safety.

“Board members of the NTSB and our advocacy team continuously seek opportunities to communicate about items on our Most Wanted List,” NTSB Chairperson Robert Sumwalt said in a news release. “As we begin advocacy efforts for the 2021-22 Most Wanted List, we call upon our advocacy partners to amplify our safety messages and help us bring about the safety improvements that will make transportation safer for us all.”

Relevant to truck drivers, NTSB’s recommendation regarding the elimination of speeding-relating crashes involves requiring that all newly manufactured heavy vehicles be equipped with speed limiters.

Opposition

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is opposed to any speed limiter mandate and contends that the devices will serve as a detriment to safety.

Last month, OOIDA sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, telling him to reject failed speed limiter proposals that have been resurrected by the American Trucking Associations in coordination with Road Safe America.

“This 2016 (notice of proposed rulemaking) would not only fail to improve safety and likely lead to more crashes involving (commercial motor vehicles) but would provide large carriers an even greater competitive advantage over small businesses,” OOIDA president Todd Spencer wrote in a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation. “We are adamantly opposed to any proposals that would create a separate nationwide speed limit for CMVs.

The Association has long opposed efforts to mandate speed limiting devices, arguing that such devices make roads less safe. Research shows speed limiters increase congestion and speed differentials between trucks and cars, which ultimately lead to more crashes.

The Association created a video to demonstrate the dangers of speed limiters.

 

“Studies and research have already proven what we were all taught long ago in driver’s ed classes – traffic is safest when vehicles travel at the same relative speed,” Spencer wrote. LL

Land Line Digital Content Editor Greg Grisolano contributed to this report.

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.