Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791
For Immediate Release
OOIDA rejects ATA’s call for speed limiter mandate
Increasing speed differentials between trucks and cars means more crashes, road rage
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation, telling them to reject failed speed limiter proposals that have been resurrected by the American Trucking Associations in coordination with Road Safe America.
OOIDA has long opposed efforts to mandate speed limiting devices because they make roads less safe. Speed limiters increase congestion and speed differentials between trucks and cars, which ultimately lead to more crashes. Additionally, arbitrary speed limits make it difficult for truck drivers to switch lanes to accommodate merging traffic at entrance ramps – or to merge themselves.
“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,” said OOIDA President Todd Spencer. “What the motoring public should know is that when they are stuck behind trucks on long stretches of highway, those trucks are limited by a device to a speed well under the posted limit. This proposal would make that the norm for every truck on the road,” added Spencer.
In this most recent effort, ATA would mandate that truckers operate below the maximum speed limit in nearly every state. Mega carriers’ use of speed limiters is primarily for fleet management purposes – a tool single truck operators and small fleets don’t require. OOIDA sees their effort to speed limit independent truckers as nothing more than an attempt to eliminate one of the few economic advantages small-business truckers currently enjoy.
“Drivers hate speed limiters because of the operational and safety problems they create,” Spencer explained. “Large carriers would love nothing more than to ensure every truck and carrier is stuck with these devices, so their drivers stop fleeing for jobs at more trucker-friendly carriers,” Spencer added.
This is not the first time that ATA has pushed for a speed limiter mandate. They originally petitioned the agencies in 2006 for a mandate, only to oppose it when NHTSA and FMCSA moved forward with a proposal in 2016.
On this, Spencer advised, “To be frank, it is difficult to keep track of what ATA and its members think about speed limiters. We would recommend that DOT hold off on a mandate, if only because we’re not sure where ATA will be on this by the time the agency could produce a proposal.”
The Association created a video visually demonstrating the dangers of speed limited trucks. The following research and summary documents are cited in the letter and also provide more detailed explanations.
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