TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario and Quebec introduced a speed-limiter program for trucks 10 years ago, setting the maximum speed for heavy-duty vehicles at 105 km/h, or 65 mph.
Now the United States wants to follow suit amid a sharp rise in fatal accidents involving large trucks. Two U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would require trucks to be equipped with speed limiters, also set at a maximum speed of 105 km/h.
Road-safety advocates such as Road Safe America and the Truck Safety Coalition have been lobbying Congress for months to pass such a legislation.
“The majority of trucks on our roads already have speed-limiting technology built in, and the rest of the technologically advanced world has already put them to use to ensure drivers follow safe speeds,” said Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, who sponsored the bill with Democratic Sen. Chris Coons.
“This legislation would officially enforce a long-awaited speed limit of 65 mph on large trucks and reduce the number of preventable fatalities on our busy roadways.”
The senators noted that the Department of Transportation delayed action on speed limiters for more than 20 times since it was first proposed in 2011.
The Trucking Alliance, a safety coalition of transportation and logistics companies, said it was hopeful Congress would pass the legislation.
More than 140,000 people were killed or injured in large truck accidents last year alone, the group said.
Safety advocates also point out that the speed limiters won’t cost extra money because most trucks already have the technology in place.
An Ontario Ministry of Transportation study revealed that speed-related, at-fault collisions involving large commercial vehicles fell by 73% after the legislation took effect, according to the Ontario Trucking Association.
The study compared data from 2006-08 to 2010-12, the association said in a report published in 2017.