Montana Motor Carriers Oppose Higher Speed Limit

February 8, 1999

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The Montana Motor Carriers Assn. opposes the state Legislature’s proposed 10-mph increase in speed limit for trucks on Interstate highways.

“Raising speeds by 10 mph goes backward against any safety numbers out there,” said Ray Kuntz, president-elect of the association, in an Associated Press article.
The higher limit is part of a bill to set numerical daytime speed limits in the state for the first time since the federal government started allowing states to set their own limits three years ago. The Senate bill would set the limit at 75 mph for cars and trucks, day and night, on interstate highways. On two-lane roads the limit for cars would be 70 mph day, 65 night; for trucks 60 and 55.
However, state Sen. Chick Swysgood, an independent trucker who proposed the amendment that set the same 75 mph limit for cars and trucks, defends the bill.
Kuntz admitted that safety is not his association’s only concern; fuel consumption and tire wear increase dramatically at higher speeds. The association, which represents 400 carriers, wants legislators to leave speed limits for trucks at their current levels of 65 mph, day and night.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn., on the other hand, has been lobbying to make sure that whatever speed limit is set is the same for both cars and trucks. It believes the speed differential between vehicles, rather than the speed itself, is responsible for more accidents.

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