Senator Schumer Calls for Speed Limit Devices

By Eric G Braun, Senior Writer, USRW

Add the Senior Senator from New York to the list of those wanting speed limit technology on our rigs. Democratic Senator Charles E. Schumer from the Big Apple called upon the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to “swiftly finalize a proposed rule that would require electronic speeding devices in large trucks, buses, and school buses over 26,000 pounds."

Don’t pass that off as just another politician making soundbite comments, Schumer is a power broker in the nation’s capital and knows how to get his agenda completed.

Speaking from the area of the Queensboro Bridge, with Trucks in the backdrop driving down the Tramway Park Plaza entrance, Schumer stated “For every New York City driver or commuter who has been next to or in the crosshairs of a speeding big rig, a technology like this can’t come fast enough." Schumer added, “Trucks and large buses that barrel down our roads unsafely put everyone in danger, but now that we have a sensible technology that can make extreme truck and bus speeds a thing of the past, we must push the feds to accelerate its swift adoption. New York City bridges are just a few of New York’s big rig attraction sites, and so, capping speed in a safe and reasonable way will make everyday drivers safer.”

In August, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed installing large commercial trucks with electronic devices that limit their speeds on roadways, and requiring the devices to be set to a maximum speed. Schumer highlighted that while the federal rule making process can sometimes take years, this rule should be finalized as quickly as possible so that installation of the systems can begin quickly and drivers can be properly trained. 

Schumer said that adopting this proposal could help reduce the more than 1,000 fatalities involving heavy vehicles and speed every year. Schumer highlighted that while many trucks and large vehicles are operated safely, technology like speed-limiters, when used correctly, can help crack down on the few bad actors who are putting lives in danger.

The problem is a real one.

According to NHTSA, in 2014 there were 3,903 people killed and 111,000 people injured in crashes involving large trucks nationwide. Of the people killed in large truck crashes, 83% were occupants of other vehicles or pedestrians.

According to Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, since 2009, there has been a 15 percent increase in fatalities and a 50 percent rise in the number of injuries in large-truck crashes. The statistics in New York City give Schumer’s call for action some credibility, according to the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2014, there were 10,742 police-reported large truck crashes in the state of New York. Of these crashes, 990 were related to unsafe speed.

According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), speed is a contributor to roughly 29 percent of all fatal crashes. And, driving too fast for conditions or over the posted speed limit was the primary reason for 18 percent of all fatal crashes where a large truck was deemed at fault.

Let’s be honest Road Warriors, do you feel this new technology will make us safer, and is it a reasonable request or requirement?

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