New commercial truck safety regulations stalled by President Trump executive order

New commercial truck safety regulations stalled by President Trump executive order

Bloomberg reports that some new safety regulations intended to reduce highway fatalities have been delayed by one of President Trump’s executive orders. One regulation mandates the placement of speed limiters on semis. President Trump issued the “Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs” shortly after taking office in January, and it requires the Department of Transportation to cut at least two other rules before it can implement the new safety regulation in order to save money.

The new speed limiter regulation is supported by safety agencies like the Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Department of Transportation (DOT) estimates that requiring speed-limiting devices on big trucks could save hundreds of lives each year and reduce fuel consumption. Potential benefits are estimated at $6.5 billion each year.

Thousands of commercial truck accidents each year

Commercial trucks are much harder to control than passenger cars and light duty trucks. Tractor trailers can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. That is about 20 times heavier than most passenger cars. When big trucks are involved in a highway accident, there is almost always serious injury or death. The safety advocacy group Road Safe America estimates that 5,000 people die in U.S. truck accidents every year. A truck accident lawyer can advise people who have lost a loved one in a trucking accident of their legal options.

High speed causes many truck accidents

Advocacy groups point to high speed as one of the leading causes of commercial truck accidents. Truck drivers are subject to federal regulations that restrict the amount of time they can spend behind the wheel. Truckers can spend a maximum of 11 hours driving, but only after at least 10 consecutive hours downtime. The increasingly competitive economy drives prices for many goods lower, and companies want products delivered faster at lower costs. Truck drivers are pushed by customers and trucking companies to meet tight delivery deadlines. Many drivers are paid per mile and encounter traffic delays daily.

Safety advocacy groups support speed governors

The proposed new regulation would mandate all commercial trucks be outfitted with speed limiters that would keep all large commercial trucks within speed limits. High speeds increase the chance of accidents and the likelihood that any resulting accident will have fatalities. Advocacy groups like Road Safe America say the proposed mandate is a low-cost way to protect public safety.