Thousands of truckers voice opposition to speed limiters

May 27, 2022

Mark Schremmer


Less than 30 days ago, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a notice about a proposal that would mandate speed limiters on most commercial motor vehicles. Since then, more than 12,000 individuals and organizations have submitted comments.

Saying that the majority of commenters are opposed to speed limiters is likely an understatement. So far, the agency has released about 11,300 of the comments for public view. A sampling of those comments indicates large opposition from individual truckers and motor carriers. In a random search through dozens of comments released in the past three days, Land Line did not find a single comment in support of a mandate.

Significant opposition to speed limiters

Most of the comments were similar. Truckers said they believe a mandate would be another example of overregulation and that the creation of larger speed differentials between cars and trucks would lead to an increase in crashes.

“Although for the intent of a good purpose, this is not the right solution,” Brenden Davis wrote. “Slowing semitrucks down may appear safer. If all the vehicles around them are going 15 mph faster, it creates a larger hazard. Distracted driving is already an issue among motor vehicles; if there is a truck moving significantly slower, it’s going to create a higher risk for rear-end collisions.”

FMCSA’s advance notice of supplemental proposed rulemaking would mandate speed limiters on most commercial motor vehicles. Commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more and that are equipped with an electric engine control unit capable of being governed would be subject to the mandate. A speed had not been determined, but previous proposals floated the possibilities of 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour.

The agency initially gave the public 30 days to comment on the notice, but after requests from the Owner-Operator-Independent Drivers Association and American Trucking Associations, as well as significant interest in the proposal, FMCSA extended the comment period another 45 days.

The public now has through July 18 to comment and join the thousands who have already done so.

“I unequivocally oppose any action that would mandate speed limiters,” Eli Troyer wrote. “Studies and research have proven that traffic is safest when all vehicles travel at the same relative speed. Limiting trucks to speeds below the flow of traffic increases interactions between vehicles and will lead to more crashes. Any efforts to mandate speed limiters will take more control out of the driver’s hands and penalize small businesses.”

Others have commented that a speed limiter mandate would force many experienced and safe drivers out of the industry and that truckers often need to accelerate to avoid a potential crash.

OOIDA encourages all truck drivers to submit comments on the speed limiter notice before the July 18 deadline. The Association has made the process easy through its Fighting for Truckers website. The public also can go to the website and enter Docket No. FMCSA-2022-0004. LL