And it’s that discretion that has some truck safety experts concerned about the fate of the speed limiter regulations and new driver training regulations.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed the speed limiter law in August 2016, which would require the installation of devices that would restrict the speed of all commercial vehicles to 60 miles per hour, 65 mph or 68 mph.
The NHTSA believes that capping the speed of commercial vehicles such as large trucks will help lower the rate of accidents due to speeding, and increase fuel efficiency while also reducing the amount of emissions.
The proposed regulation was swiftly opposed by the American Trucking Association (ATA), and per an article on the AgFax website, ATA CEO Chris Spear was quoted as saying that the regulation (2):
“…provides insufficient data, and fails to make a recommendation regarding which of the three proposed speeds it believes is best and why. Most disconcerting is the fact that DOT’s new rulemaking does not address the differentials in speed that would exist between any of the three proposed national speed limits for trucks and the speed laws of multiple states, allowing passenger vehicles to travel at much higher speeds than commercial trucks.”
The driver training law faced similar opposition when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed it in March 2016.
The law would require prospective commercial truck drivers to “obtain a minimum of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training from an instructional program that meets FMCSA standards, including a minimum of 10 hours of operating the vehicle on a practice driving range.”
Truck carriers believe that this law will make it more difficult for them to attract drivers to an industry that is already experiencing a massive shortfall of applicants.
Shortly after the president’s Executive Order, the FMCSA announced that both regulations were suspended, pending the outcome of the freeze.