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Letter: Speed-governing software should be required on big rigs

Speed-governing software should be required on big rigs

The United States should require the use of speed-governing software on big rig trucks now. The capability is not new; it has been available in most big rigs since the early 1990s.

After many years of consideration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have finally released notice of a proposed rule requiring such speed governors on new big rigs only, in the future.

The use of this lifesaving technology is required by all industrialized countries, except the United States. When the Province of Ontario required speed governors on big rigs to be set at 65 miles per hour, the total number of crashes dropped by 24 percent.

The FMCSA’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study showed speed was the most often cited factor in crashes involving a big rig. In fact, trucks without top speed limited by governors were in twice as many high-speed collisions as those with operating speed governors.

In 2014 alone, 3,660 people lost their lives as a result of large truck crashes. Since 2009, the number of crashes involving commercial trucks in the United States has increased by 44 percent. The public needs the protection of this software now, not in the distant future.

John Feroleto, past chair

Interstate Trucking Litigation Group

American Association for Justice

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