Fuel Smarts

Arizona Lawmakers Still Pushing for Truck Speed Reductions

August 31, 2000

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A group of Arizona lawmakers are asking the state Department of Transportation to conduct another study to determine whether the speed limit for trucks should be reduced,
according to Associated Press reports.
A bill was passed last session calling for the department to reduce the speed limits of trucks and restrict them to the far right lanes of interstate highways if studies showed that doing so would enhance traffic safety. The results of the study, revealed in July, showed that the current 75 mph speed limit is reasonable, with 85 percent of drivers following it. The study also found that most trucks traveling Arizona highways remained at or slightly below posted speed limits.
The AP reported that because national studies are inconclusive, the study did not consider the safety of reducing truck speeds.
Some lawmakers wanted the study to delve into more detail, wanting to know whether 85 percent of truckers would have been driving at or near 65 mph if that were the speed limit. The DOT was asked earlier this week to hire an independent consultant to undertake a new study.
California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington are among 17 other states that have different speed limits for trucks and cars. Opponents say the speed differential between cars and trucks causes more safety problems than it solves.

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