It has been more than a year since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed rules requiring speed-limiters on heavy trucks. The proposed rules would mandate speed governors to keep tractor-trailer rigs from exceeding specified speed limits. The proposed regulations suggested potential limits of 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour, depending on circumstances or the level designated in the final regulations. An industry publication reports that the rule would apply only to newly manufactured trucks and would require that a speed-governing device be installed on all of them.
Because two federal agencies are proposing the same rule—the NHTSA and the FMSCA—any regulation put in place would apply more broadly than a rule issued only by one agency.
However, the rules proposed by the NHTSA would require speed governors for all multipurpose commercial vehicles, including vans and minivans, trucks, buses, and school buses, while the rules proposed by the FMCSA rule would only apply to commercial motor vehicles. For both agencies, though, the proposed rules have bogged down since their proposal about a year ago.
The Speed-Governor Rules Are in Limbo Because of Administration Efforts to Reduce Regulation
The Trump Administration came into office last January with an announced intention to cut regulations. That policy apparently has resulted in a halt to consideration of the proposed rules to limit tractor-trailer speeds, at least for now. A “unified agenda” published July 20 by the Office of Management and Budget included no mention of the speed-limitation rules on the near-term agenda for both the NHTSA and the FMCSA.
The OMB said that “By amending and eliminating regulations that are ineffective, duplicative, and obsolete, the administration can promote economic growth and innovation and protect individual liberty.”
Whether these regulations will move forward is not clear. Even in the absence of such regulations regarding speed, however, tractor-trailer drivers remain subject to potential liability when they are involved in accidents that result from those trucks driving too fast. Truck drivers, in fact, do not even have to exceeded the speed limit to incur liability—especially if they drove unreasonably fast under the circumstances.
Call Us Today to Speak with a Houston Truck Accident Lawyer
If you have been involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer rig and believe the driver of the truck was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation. In many instances, truck accident victims are able to recover compensation for both their economic and non-economic losses, including their hospital bills, lost wages, physical and emotional pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life. For a free case evaluation to see if you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries, contact Stewart J. Guss, attorney at law, at (281) 664-6500 or email us through our online contact form.