The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) removed from active consideration a proposed rule that would have mandated installation of speed limiters in all heavy-duty trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds. The DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) stopped short of formally withdrawing the speed limiter proposal altogether, but instead assigned it to “inactive” status, effectively removing the controversial rulemaking from further consideration.
Last year, the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) submitted written comments to the FMCSA calling on the agency to withdraw the controversial proposal. The proposed rule would have required all newly manufactured heavy-duty trucks to be equipped with speed limiters set to a maximum speed that would be determined in the final rule. A major concern for PMAA was language in the proposed rule that could have extended the speed limiter mandate to existing heavy-duty trucks manufactured after 1990, including petroleum cargo tank vehicles.
PMAA opposed any retrofit requirement in its written comments. PMAA told the FMCSA that safety and crash data used in the agency’s analysis was insufficient to move forward with the rule because it did not show that reduced speed would actually increase safety. PMAA also commented that the proposal did not adequately weigh the cost of how the rule would impact small businesses transporters, and pointed out that reducing speed to a point between 60 and 68 miles per hour (mph) as proposed would create dangerous driving conditions for heavy-duty commercial vehicles.