Safety & Compliance

Truck Speed Limiter Proposal Returned to NHTSA

May 14, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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Just over a month after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration submitted a proposed regulation to require speed limiters on big rigs to the DOT, it has been returned to the agency without approval.

A new U.S. DOT report on significant rulemakings reveals it was returned on April 18, without a publicly stated reason. The proposal is scheduled to be resubmitted to the Office of the DOT Secretary in late July.

NHTSA says this rulemaking responds to petitions several years ago from ATA and the public interest group Roadsafe America to require the installation of speed limiting devices on heavy trucks.

In response to the petitions, NHTSA requested public comment on the subject and says it received thousands of comments supporting the petitioners’ request.

In the notice on the status on the proposal, NHTSA says, “this rulemaking would consider a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard that would require the installation of speed limiting devices on heavy trucks. We believe this rule would have minimal cost, as all heavy trucks already have these devices installed, although some vehicles do not have the limit set. This rule would decrease the estimated 1,115 fatal crashes annually involving vehicles with a gross-vehicle weight rating of over 26,000 pounds on roads with posted speed limits of 55 mph or above.”

The issue of requiring speed limiters is controversial in trucking, because some believe they would decrease efficiency in trucking, as well as actually increasing the risk of truck involved crashes due to four-wheelers and truck traveling at very different speeds.

If the proposal is to ever become a regulation, it has to be approved by the U.S. DOT Secretary and the White House Office of Management and Budget. It’s estimated it will be submitted to OMB in late August, with the rule being published in the Federal Register in early December, and the following comment period closing in early February of 2014. There is no indication when it could possibly take effect if it receives all of the necessary approvals.

Related Stories:

January 2011: NHTSA Clears Path for Speed-Limiter Proposal


  1. 1. Rance [ May 15, 2013 @ 07:38AM ]

    Really? Has anyone at the NHTSA or any of the public commentors actually driven a Class A vehicle? This is a bad idea. This would make truck drivers be at the mercy of 4 wheelers. Not all 4 wheel drivers are paying attention all the time. Truck drivers need to have the ability to drive away from certain situations they see that may potentially lead to bad things.

  2. 2. Charles Collins [ May 15, 2013 @ 09:36PM ]

    I have been to Europe several times, where trucks are speed limited, including on the autobahn in Germany, and there is no problem. Truckers there understand they are slower and stick to the right lane. Of course, severe penalties against any infractions helps a lot. Then again, they are paid much more fairly than in the U.S. where carriers generally stick it to drivers. Limiters would be good if there was driver pay reform that guaranteed a living wage.

  3. 3. Jeff Motley [ May 23, 2013 @ 10:12AM ]

    After being in the trucking industry for 28 years I can honestly say this is the worst plain that the government has every tried to put in place, you will see more traffic jambs, more wrecks, a devastating economical impact on our nation than ever before it really makes you wonder what our law maker are using for brains, I know special interest money, Remember the OLD SAYING FOLLOW THE MONEY !!!!

  4. 4. Don Wilson [ December 29, 2014 @ 12:46PM ]

    A restricted traffic flow problem and disaster waiting to happen. How will one truck pass another slightly but appreciatively slower truck, both going 60 to 65 mph? Very slowly indeed as traffic piles up behind, likely creating stressed and less courteous, perhaps less safe divers. ALL vehicles need ability to "Accelerate, Pass, Move Back Right" PERIOD.

  5. 5. Dax Tinsley [ September 22, 2016 @ 02:41PM ]

    stop punishing everyone and all equipment. Punish the drivers who commit stupid acts. If a driver has an infraction punish him not everyone.

  6. 6. Dax Tinsley [ September 22, 2016 @ 03:05PM ]

    Everyone is not built for the trucking industry. Don't punish the equipment. Hire seasoned professionals and responsible people who respect the equipment.
    Also punish those individuals who receive infractions.


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