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Carriers link with public safety group to petition for mandatory speed limiters

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- A group of motor carriers have linked up with public safety interest group Road Safe America to ...

GREEN BAY, Wis. — A group of motor carriers have linked up with public safety interest group Road Safe America to petition the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to require electronic speed governors to be set at not more than 68 mph.

Road Safe America joined the likes of Schneider National, J.B. Hunt Transport, CR England, Covenant Transport, Dart Transit Company and four others to file the petition on Sept. 11.

The proposed regulation would affect class 7 and 8 trucks manufactured after 1990 (in 1991 speed governors became standard equipment).

Bill Graves, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, has already submitted a letter of support for this measure to the FMCSA. The petition will be available for public comment as soon as it is docketed for rulemaking by the FMCSA.

Recent FMCSA studies suggest that limiting the speed of commercial trucks will have a significant impact on safety. The FMCSAs recent Large Truck Causation Study cited travelling too fast for conditions as the most frequent factor in large truck crashes where trucks were assigned a critical reason.

The 80-mph, 80,000 lb.-truck has no place on our highways, said Steve Owings, who co-founded Road Safe America after he lost his 22-year-old son, Cullum, in a high-speed truck accident. This petition is a matter of life and death for drivers of passenger cars, as well as for professional truck drivers. And it is a matter of economic common sense for the companies that put trucks on the road.

Don Osterberg, vice-president of safety and training for Schneider National, joined Steve Owings in supporting what he called one of the most important safety initiatives in commercial vehicle transportation in the last 20 years.

Historically, carriers have waited for regulations to come down from the federal government and not been actively engaged in the process, said Osterberg. Whats unique in this filing is that a core group of responsible carriers is stepping up and initiating a proactive change for improving public safety. This is good for drivers, good for the motoring public and good for the entire trucking industry.

Schneider is among a growing number of national carriers that maintains speed governors on their trucks at below 68 mph.

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