U.S. senators press for speed limiters on trucks

by Truck News

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.

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.


  • The problem isn’t so much the speed of trucks but the attitude and quality of the drivers. Both have gone downhill in the past few years.

  • That (73% reduction in speed related accidents) is a very significant and compelling argument for speed limiters, no doubt about it! Are there corresponding stats for the same period that measure the increase / decrease in rear-end accidents involving CMV’s, as I cant help but wonder if we may have traded off one type of accident for another?

  • The Ontario, Quebec enforcement of the speed limiters is an out and out joke. Don’t believe me? Take a drive at 105 kph on any 400 series hwy and see how often you are passed by an Ontario, Quebec semi. The MTO officers at the scales apparently are not able to plug into a lot of these vehicles and see what the setting are as the chips in the vehicles have been changed to foreign language chips and therefore the officer has no idea what he/she are looking at.

  • To bad it doesn’t apply to Bus Lines also. But being said. It’s no speed in 90% of accidents. My dash cam, catches the drivers in four wheelers, that causes the accidents. They don’t follow yield signs coming on to all the highways. Pull in to heavy traffic, like they want you to hit them, so they can retire on your dime. USA has some of the worst drivers. Their attitude is, it’s all about Me. I drive the NewEngland states. What I see is one in a thousand truck drivers, might speed. Before these Statesmen concern speed limiter. With rules of ELD’s. There’s no place to park all the tractor trailers. Some drivers may push little hard to find safe place to park. States have closed most of the 8 truck to 12 parking spots. So I’m not so sure speed limiters, will not fix the traffic problem. It will make it worst, as last I check there’s 4 times tractor trailers on the highway, than in Ontario and Quebec. Rest of Canada don’t have these problems. Carriers in Canada have a Choice. If that Carrier, having a problem with driver. Then speed limiter is put on that truck, ringtone from office. A lot new units replacing older equipment. Manufacturers offer this to Carriers. So don’t penalize the O/O. He knows, he’s got make fuel mileage, Ware tear on his equipment and high speeds causes blown tires everywhere. Foreign drivers and company drivers, don’t have anything invested.
    Seems like it’s all about Control for the government , all these Companies out business .

  • .
    As some and I have pointed out , it’s all about the “mentality” behind the wheel .

    You can cause a collision and or commit  an “error ” with any sort of vehicle at any speed . Therefore speed per se is not really the issue that needs to be addressed . ​

    As far as statistics are concerned regarding commercial vehicle collisions in Canada , they have increased over the past 10 years since speed limiters have been enforced on CMV’s . ​

    Therefore quite clearly statistics demonstrate that speed limiters are not the solution for CMV collision reductions . ​

    Case in point , the CTA has lobbied government for more stringent training for drivers who want to enter the CMV trade . ​

    In fact the truth about why speed limiters were lobbied by Carrier associations such as the CTA was based on leveling the playing field concerning competition among themselves . ​

    Carriers wanted to lower their fuel costs . Therefore some governed the speed of their CMV engines ,i.e:at 90km/h on their own . However, if their competition didn’t do the same then the governed carrier engines were not as competitive as those that were not and the drivers that drove at 120km/h .​

    So they had to find a way to CONvince government to accept the idea that a “Governed engine speed ” would be “safer” . ​

    They also added the fact that if they reduce their speed then they would burn less fuel thus creating a decrease in emissions . However , DEF in CMV’s became regulated which in fact does reduce emissions . ​

    They also used an argument that by implementing a governed speed it would increase safety concerning lane changes which is extremely absurd in my humble opinion . ​

    In other words and in conclusion . Carriers lobbied government to have speed limiters on CMV’s regulated simply to save on fuel and to remain competitive by leveling the playing field among themselves . Speed limiters have absolutely nothing to do with “safety” in the trucking industry . ​

    However , speed limiters(a restrictor plate ) are  required by Nascar on “race cars”  to provide an equal level of competition . ​

    Draw your own conclusion……………..​

    In my humble opinion !​