Congress Introduces 65 MPH Speed Limiter For Trucks

Topic 25974 | Page 6

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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More truck crashes due to more trucks on the road. How hard is that to understand?

Ah but you missed something critical. This must be that reading comprehension thing coming up again. There are more trucks on the road and there are also more cars, however the fatality rates are not rising in unison. Here, let me quote the article again. See if you read it differently this time:

Fatalities from big truck crashes rose even though the overall traffic fatality rate declined, the agency reported.
G-Town's Comment
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Honestly what the Senators are proposing is analogous to fixing a leaky roof by replacing the furnace.

Seriously. They are ignoring what is obvious to most of us out here.

Speed reduction may save lives by having fewer accidents and lessening the severity of the ones that occur. Yes. But is speed the root cause of most accidents? No.

I believe whole heartedly it’s bad drivers causing accidents. Lots of them! Including many of our trucking brethren. Chronic and habitual tail gating has nothing todo with speed. Driving while texting or fiddling with any number of electronic gizmos has nothing todo with speed. Aggressive lane changing has nothing todo with speed.

The overwhelming majority of drivers (cars & light trucks) are grossly unskilled, negligent and ignore basic common sense. Driver training for a basic license occurred for most of us in the 11th grade at age 16. That’s it for most of us.

This may tick a lot of people off, but it’s far too easy to get a license and far too easy to keep it. The most dangerous thing most Americans do every day is drive. Yet it’s considered a right that most take for granted and approach with an attitude of ambivalence.

Address the real problem here by overhauling the system in place issuing and reissuing the license. Including education on what todo when behind, next to and in front of a CMV.

The degradation of driving skill, behavior and knowledge in the US is alarming and IMO is the major cause of accidents and will continue until the root problem is addressed.

Study “that”...and then write a report on it.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
Keith A.'s Comment
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Having just escaped from California again... I think I'm in G-Town's camp here. Installing lower speed limits is a bandaid on the larger issue of people not having anywhere near the awareness necessary for true safe driving. I got cut off /more/ often while driving 55 in Cali than I did at 60. The smaller the disparity the less likely someone felt either (I imagine?) safe enough or aggravated enough by my speed to display it openly.

That being said the lower the speed limit, the slower people are willing to travel above it-- my one and only big concern with the speed limiting being placed like this is that I think it will *significantly* increase bunching and turtle races ... which are a result of unprofessional driving as opposed to the inherent speed of the vehicle. The only reason that bothers me is because it's probably the most aggravating thing I watch happen out here and it does have a *very* real effect on traffic flow.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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I think it's pretty obvious that limiting the speed of trucks wasn't intended to fix all of the problems we face on the highways, but I think it plugs a hole that doesn't need to be there.

And again I remind everyone that limiting the speed of trucks to 65 doesn't mean that every truck on the road is going to run 65. There are a lot of companies running less than that already, which would continue. I don't think it makes sense to say, "Well, we don't like turtle races so let's have some trucks running 80+ mph." That's a really dangerous solution to a very benign problem.

Without a doubt the factors which are causing the most danger on the highways are the poor choices people are making and the lack of enforcement of existing laws. There are already laws against tailgating, cell phone usage, and blocking the flow of traffic. People are choosing not to obey these laws, and they're not being enforced as strictly as they should be.

I think eventually they'll use a variety of technologies to correct a lot of these behaviors. Not only can they set up roadside cameras to monitor a lot of behaviors, but they can also use dash cams and sensors in vehicles to prevent many of them.

It's truly appalling how many truck drivers are driving recklessly these days, especially with regard to tailgating. I live in a small community along the Interstate with very light traffic flow and yet I see it daily. Go anywhere near the larger cities and you'd be hard pressed to find a moment where you can't spot a commercial driver doing something senseless.

The DOT stepped up enforcement of vehicle safety standards in recent decades and it had a major impact on the quality of the trucks on the highway. Nowadays you'd be hard pressed to find "an old junker" driving down the highway. If you have a truck that looks suspiciously lacking in maintenance you're going to get pulled in for inspections on a regular basis. You just can't get away with that kind of thing anymore.

I think they need to do the same thing for driver behavior. They need to use technology to get people driving more safely in all vehicles. The technology already exists and it would be relatively easy to implement. I think it's only a matter of time before we're all being monitored a lot more closely. If you simply eliminated tailgating across the board you would prevent tens of thousands of accidents and many thousands of deaths every year. It wouldn't be hard to do using existing technology and it would have a tremendous impact on safety.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Another thing I believe would help congestion quite a bit is to get rid of the 14 hour rule and allow drivers more flexibility to run when they want to run. That would allow people to get started much earlier in the morning or drive well into the night to avoid the heavier traffic problems.

Back in the day when we all ran paper logs we all used to cheat, but it wasn't for the reasons you would expect. We weren't trying to turn 4,500 miles per week. What we wanted to do was run when it was safe and logical to run, and park it when it made sense to park it. For instance, it wasn't uncommon for me to get up at 2:00 a.m. and run for 5 hours to get past a couple of cities and then shut it down at 7:00 a.m. to get some breakfast and a short nap. Then I'd get rolling again about 10:00 a.m. after the heaviest traffic had died down and roll smoothly through the afternoon, shutting it down around dinnertime to avoid the heaviest traffic and find parking at the crowded truck stops.

Managing my clock that way allowed me to run when the traffic was light, find parking when I needed it, take naps whenever necessary, sit out short bouts of bad weather, and still get plenty of sleep. I turned about 3,200 miles per week on average, the same as the more ambitious drivers do today. The difference was that I was able to do it with a lot more flexibility. I didn't have an arbitrary clock telling me when I had to run or when I had to shut down. I could use more intelligent reasoning like how heavy the traffic was, what the weather was doing, and how fresh and alert I felt.

I think allowing more flexibility in the logbook rules could significantly cut down on congestion.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Army 's Comment
member avatar

Well that was a lot to catch up on. I am in BIG SKY COUNTRY on vacation, and as most probably know highway speeds for 4 wheelers is 80 and truck speeds are 65 (on major highways). I believe the 2 lanes highways are 70 and 55. It sure is nice to set cruise at 85(ish) and fly down the road. But you do see the same people as you leap frog after stops lol.

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