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Top Speed Limits Proposed for Commercial Vehicles

Apr 23, 2012 Brown Moore & Associates Truck Accidents

Semi trucks are the largest vehicles on the road. They are several times larger than the biggest cars on the road. This means that semi trucks can pose a significant danger to other cars and passengers, especially when it comes to semi-trucks that are speeding. Because of the large size and weight of semi trucks, they require much more time to stop than a car and when they cannot stop, there are usually tragic consequences.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has recently released a proposed top speed for commercial trucks. The FMCSA has recently demonstrated that speed is what kills in truck accidents with semi trucks and that requiring commercial vehicles to slow down will save hundreds of lives. It is also proposing technology to electronically monitor and limit the speed limits of commercial vehicles.

The proposed federal legislation comes in the wake of a few states increasing the speed limit for commercial vehicles. In 2009, Illinois’ governor signed into law a bill allowing commercial vehicles to travel at the same speed as other traffic, at 65 miles per hour. The prior posted speeds allowed trucks to go 55 and all other traffic to go 65. The argument to increase the speed limit was that highway safety would be improved by having everyone traveling at the same speed.

It should be noted that few states have specific posted speeds for commercial vehicles. This can pose a danger, especially if the posted speed is 75 but commercial vehicles can only go 55. Given the variation in state speed limits for both cars and semi-trucks, the proposed federal regulation may be worth consideration.