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Agencies propose speed limiting regulations for trucks

Truck and bus drivers in Pennsylvania may soon have mandatory speed limiters installed on their vehicles. Proposed regulations that would mandate the installation of speed limiting devices on commercial vehicles are open for public comment.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are proposing that the maximum speeds for the large commercial vehicles be limited to 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour, with the exact number to be determined after comments have been received. The agencies want the speeds to be limited in order to reduce the number of fatalities and catastrophic injuries that can result in commercial vehicle accidents. More than 1,000 fatal truck accidents occur every year around the country.

The trucking industry is opposed to the new regulations. Industry groups believe that limiting the speeds of large trucks will make it likelier that accidents will occur when vehicles that are traveling much faster come upon the slow-moving trucks and buses. The agencies point to the fact that truck tires are designed to go no faster than 75 miles per hour. In 14 states, the speed limits are equal to or more than the maximum speed that the tires can handle, potentially leading to tire failure and accidents.

The trucking industry is controlled by numerous federal trucking regulations that are meant to help lessen the risk of truck-involved accidents. Despite the rules, truck accidents still occur, and in many of them, people are either seriously injured or killed. People who have been harmed in an accident that was caused by a truck driver who was speeding, distracted, drowsy or otherwise negligent may want to have the assistance of counsel in seeking compensation for their losses.

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