FMCSA Puts Speed Limiters Back on the Table
Speed limiters are a touchy subject amongst drivers within the United States, but that is not going to stop federal regulators from making them required.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently announced that it plans to publish a supplemental notice to a 2016 proposed rule requiring speed limiters on heavy-duty trucks.
The idea of speed limiters on big rigs has been delayed since 2016, but is coming back in full force. With the 2016 proposed rule being a joint effort of the FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it may just become official regulation under the current administration.
The 2016 proposal never established its proposed maximum speed, but discussed possible limits of 60, 65, and 68 miles per hour. The main difference between the 2016 and 2022 version of this rule is that, while the original required speed limiters to be installed on the trucks in factories, the revised edition will require fleets to install and maintain them. The FMCSA says that by shifting responsibility onto the fleets that operate the trucks, it will increase accountability and ensure compliance.
When the FMCSA publishes the rule into the Federal Register, it will be asking for comments from the public regarding to what extent the regulation should be applied. Such questions include whether retrofitting or a grandfather clause should apply, what limit the speed should be set for, and whether or not it should apply to vehicle Classes 3-6 as well.
Discussion of speed limiters is often met with disdain from the trucking industry. It is possible that once it becomes official regulation that it will be taken to court on behalf of drivers, much like what happened with California’s AB-5 rule and the owner-operator leasing business model.
Should the final rule have a grandfather clause, it is highly likely that it will motivate fleets to hold on to their current trucks for longer. Would the requirement of 2024 models and later having speed limiters greatly impact your purchasing decision to upgrade to a newer truck? Let us know in the comments below.
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