U.S. finally posts stopping distance rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After much anticipation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has finally issued a stringent new braking standard, which reduces large truck stopping distance by 30 percent.

NHTSA estimates that the new braking requirement will save 227 lives annually, and will also prevent 300 serious injuries. It is estimated to reduce property damage costs by over $169 million annually.

“Safety is our highest priority,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “Motorists deserve to know they are sharing the road with large trucks that are up to the safest possible standards, so they can get home alive to their families.”

The new standard requires that a tractor-trailer traveling at 60 mph come to a complete stop in 250 feet. The old standard required a complete stop within 355 feet.

The new rule applies only to truck-tractors, and does not include single-unit trucks, trailers and buses. The new regulation will be phased in over four years beginning with 2012 models.

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