A proposed federal rule that would require all commercial trucks weighing 27,000 pounds or more to be equipped with speed-limiting devices has been delayed by the White House, according to a notation on the rule’s status.
The White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) must approve new rulemaking by any regulatory agency prior to its publication. It updated the proposed Heavy Vehicle Speed-Limiter rule Sept. 1, adding a memo that the rule has been extended.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) submitted the proposed rule to the Office of Management and Budget on May 19. The OMB normally has 90 days to approve or reject the new rules proposed by federal regulators, but the agency surpassed that period on August 19. It did not explain why it delayed its decision on the rule when it updated the rule’s status.
Many trucking professionals remain deeply divided on the proposed speed-limiter requirement. Details of the rule remain unclear but the devices would restrict heavy trucks from travelling over 65 mph. It is not known if truck owners would be required to retro-fit their vehicles with the devices, or if the new rule would pertain to newly built trucks only.
Some carriers have voluntarily installed the safety devices in their fleet, and the proposed rule is supported by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), which petitioned the government for the change in 2006.
“We waited patiently until the government finally said in January 2011 they would move ahead with a speed limiter mandate, but this common sense regulation has been mired in bureaucracy for over four years now,” Bill Graves, ATA head, said in a statement. “It is long past time for NHTSA and FMCSA to move ahead with this rule.”
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) opposes the rule, saying it would create a dangerous speed differential between commercial trucks and cars and make the roads less safe.
“A major reason our Interstate system is the safest part of our highway system – despite the fact that it generally permits the fastest speeds of any roads – is that vehicles of all types generally move at a relatively uniform speed,” OOIDA said in a letter to federal authorities. “Interactions between those vehicles, such as overtaking and passing, are minimized, and the opportunities for crashes to occur are reduced.”