Speed limiter mandate bill reintroduced in Senate

July 1, 2019

Greg Grisolano


A bill that potentially resurrects a speed limiter mandate for large trucks has been introduced in the U.S. Senate.

Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Chris Coons, D-Del., introduced S.2033 on June 27.

The legislation would require all new commercial trucks with a gross weight over 26,001 pounds to be equipped with devices that limited the vehicle’s speed to no more than 65 miles per hour, and be used “at all times while in operation,” according to a joint news release. The devices would also be required in “existing trucks that already have the technology installed.”

Trucks without speed limiters would not be forced to retroactively install the technology.

The proposal also would establish that all large trucks manufactured after the effective date be equipped with speed-limiting technology. And within six months of enactment, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation must “establish standards and rules to ensure that the speed-limiting technology on large trucks is accurate and that the trucks adhere to a maximum speed no faster than 65 mph.”

The proposal has garnered the support of several safety groups, as well as the Trucking Alliance, the Truckload Carriers Association and the Truck Safety Coalition.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has long opposed any effort to mandate speed-limiting devices on commercial trucks, citing research that risks posed by increasing vehicle interactions via speed differentials outweigh any purported safety benefit of slowing down large trucks and buses.

Collin Long, OOIDA’s director of government affairs, says a speed limiter mandate will take highway safety “in the wrong direction.”

“When you’re creating speed differentials, the greater they are the higher the interaction amongst vehicles is on the highways,” he said in an interview with Land Line Now on Monday. “When you increase highway vehicle interaction, guess what else goes up? Crash rates. So we think it’s a backward approach, and we’ve fought tooth and nail to make sure this didn’t advance in previous years and we’re going to continue to do that.”