National Law Review (10/13/17) Roberts, Bryan M.
According to a recent study by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, speed-related, at-fault truck crashes fell 73 percent after mandatory speed limiter technology legislation took effect in Ontario, Canada. After 2009, large-truck drivers produced fewer at-fault speed collisions relative to all at-fault driver actions. The year-long study discredited the argument that requiring large trucks to slow down would lead to rear-end crashes and that speed limiters would cause truck drivers to adjust their driving habits to compensate for lost time resulting from slower driving. Ultimately, the study found no evidence that speed limiters contributed to an increase in collisions involving truck drivers, including rear-end crashes. In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) are proposing similar speed limiter regulations. NHTSA has proposed a new federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) requiring that each new multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck bus, and school bus with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds be equipped with a speed limiting device. Meanwhile, FMCSA has proposed a complementary federal motor carrier safety regulation requiring each commercial motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds to be equipped with a speed limiting device that meets the requirements of the proposed FMVSS at the time of manufacture. Motor carriers would be required to maintain the speed limiting devices for the service life of the vehicle.