U.S. DOT Proposes Rule Mandating Speed Limiters for Large Commercial Vehicles

Senator Collins Has Pushed for This Requirement That Could Save Lives, Increase Fuel Efficiency

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, applauded the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) announcement today of a proposed rule that would equip large commercial vehicles with devices that limit their speeds and require those devices be set to a maximum speed.

Senator Collins has strongly advocated for this requirement and inserted language in multiple appropriations bills, including last year’s transportation appropriations bill, directing the DOT to initiate the rulemaking process.  She has also repeatedly pressed DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx to prioritize issuing this much-needed safety rule at recent hearings.

“While I am concerned that this rule will only apply to new vehicles and not the millions of trucks that are currently on our roads, I am pleased that the Department of Transportation has finally proposed this long-overdue requirement,” said Senator Collins.  “Speed governors will improve safety on our nation’s roadways by preventing commercial truck and bus drivers from speeding and will undoubtedly save lives of roadway users and increase the fuel efficiency of commercial vehicle fleets.”

The Department’s proposal would establish safety standards requiring all newly manufactured U.S. trucks, buses, and multipurpose passenger vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating more than 26,000 pounds to come equipped with speed limiting devices.  Motor carriers operating commercial vehicles in interstate commerce would be responsible for maintaining the speed limiting devices at or below the designated speed for the service life of the vehicle under the proposal.

The proposed rule, which considers maximum speeds of 60 mph, 65 mph, and 68 mph, is expected to reduce fatalities and injuries, lead to fuel savings of approximately $1 billion, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The cost to vehicle manufacturers is expected to be minimal because most vehicles are already equipped with the necessary engine controls.‎

The proposal was issued by the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and is currently open for public comment.