Installing speed limiters on trucks is not a new concept, but advocates are pushing for them once again. Limiters could have been installed over a decade ago, but no action was taken for various reasons. In the meantime, Camden, Gloucester, and Burlington Counties continued to experience truck accidents that could have been prevented.
In 1995 the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSA) created a wish list that included truck speed limiters. For one reason or another, they did not succeed in implementing them. Speeding is a significant factor in many fatal truck crashes across the state and local counties. A speed limiter or regulator can save not only a driver’s life, but other drivers and pedestrians.
According to recent statistics, deaths were 18.4 percent higher during the first six months of 2021 over 2020. Speeding accidents rose 17 percent from 2019 to 2020. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is revisiting the idea of speed regulators and taking a closer look at systems for trucks over 26,000 pounds. They’ve had regulations in place to deal with this change in the industry since 2016. Now, the National Roadway Safety Strategy is pursuing the installation of speed limiters.
Despite highway and local county traffic being lower at the onset of the pandemic, meaning the roads were far less traveled in our counties, speed limiters were not introduced then. However, it is interesting to note that most heavy trucks on the streets have installed speed limiters.
The difficulty is that there are no standards for using them. There is also no stated requirement to have them turned on. The trucking industry is waiting for rules to start using the ones installed – laws covering those already in trucks and those to be installed.
Since the loss of lives in trucking accidents is high, it is time to implement these rules. It’s time to save lives, not wait longer for existing regulations to be implemented and followed.