OOIDA asks feds to reconsider speed differentials on US highways

by Truck News

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. – The Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association has voiced its opinion to two government agencies about the proposed mandate that would require speed limiting devices on large trucks.

The OOIDA claims that doing so would make highways less safe because of research that shows speed differentials cause an increased chance of crashes.

A letter was sent to both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration as they prepare to submit a draft rule to the Office of Management and Budget. The rule is projected to be published on July 27.

The OOIDA attached to its letter, extensive research showing that uniform highway speeds are safest, while speed differentials increase the risk of crashes. The association asked that the agencies fully consider the studies and data before setting a policy that would create a dangerous, split-speed environment on US highways.

In the letter, OOIDA says it does not condone speeding or unsafe driving habits and instead strongly encourages trucks to follow state laws and federal regulations.


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  • I have to question the manipulation of speed limits in the USA and most recently in British Columbia. Many states and lawmakers are raising the speed limits for automobiles while regulating trucks to no more than 65 mph. In effect increasing speed differentials between commercial vehicles and automobiles.
    The crux of the argument by engineers for raising speed limits for car is in a formula that means to eliminate speed differentials by assuming the speed limit that the majority of drivers are travelling.
    A rather simple example that anyone can grasp that if the majority of traffic is travelling 10-15 mph over the limit, then the limit is incorrect and must be raised to reduce interactions by traffic. Less interactions, less opportunity for an accident.
    It sounds good in theory but, the truth is that you may have only reduced interactions in the fast lane, given that most major thoroughfares in North America are 2 lanes in each direction. I would question whether or not interactions can be reduced at all with distracted driving being the latest affliction of the modern driver. Most truckers can recognize the behaviour of – Hot & Cold – attention spans in drivers as their speed meanders up &I down from distracted to an intense focus of getting there. Or in the truckers case, they must stop the truck from passing them who they had caught them Doddling slow as they fiddled with their devices. It’s literally a self- induced form of ADD.
    i support governing trucks because the safest heavier comes from it in that the trucker no longer has to look at the speedometer as much and thus, more time is devoted to looking at traffic. Not to mention, truckers get less speeding tickets since the governors keep them closer to compliant. Except for the odd stragglers who have electronically defeated their governors. Something I never understood because who would freely advertise on the highway that they’re not governed and who prefers to get 5 mpg instead of 7- 9 mpg? Maybe someone who can afford the ticket?
    So perhaps this governing of trucks while raising car limits recognizes that truckers will have more time to look out the window because the raising of automobile limits will certainly foster the need for truckers to be on- guard as the automobiles arrival to their space will be all that much more instantaneous.
    I would assume that the formula to justify raising speed limits for cars to reduce variances in speed, known by engineers as ” The 85th Percentile,” was meant only to reduce differentials for cars in the left lane. Something that can function better on a real multilane highway and not on a 2 lane where it’s either- or and not much else in the way of space and time.
    I have witnessed this mythical phenomenon known as the 85th percentile on the 400 series. Usually it’s in the wee small hours of a weekend morning and the OPP know it as any good driver would notice that it’s prime time. Many drivers would blast the targeting of an empty highway for speeders. I don’t because a speeder never changes their spots. It’s a lifestyle choice to be perpetually 15-20 kph over the limit.
    The automobile world has a lot of catching up to do to meet the green initiatives of the commercial trucking industry. For the amount of work done by a commercial vehicle vehicle compared to a car, the car would have to be equipped with a twin cylinder, turbo diesel, blue tech engine to meet the same standards when it’s only function is barely 3% of a transport truck. It would seem that horsepower & speed is still the name of the game.