What are speed limiters?

The federal government is expected to rule on a law that would require the installation of speed limiters in commercial trucks over 27,000 pounds.

Driving over the posted speed limit seems to be part and parcel of everyday life for some drivers in Ohio. Despite warnings about safety as well as potential consequences for speeding, it remains a danger to all motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists. This risk is posed not just by drivers of passenger vehicles but sometimes by drivers of commercial vehicles as well. What can be done to keep people safe and reduce the risk of serious accidents caused by speeding truckers?

Government to consider capping speed of trucks

In the spring of 2015, the Commercial Carrier Journal reported that a proposal had been sent to the federal Office of Management and Budget regarding speeding among commercial drivers. If approved, legislation would mandate the installation of speed limiters in any commercial vehicle that weighs more than 27,000 pounds.

The guideline was developed in by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in tandem with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association. By April of 2016, the OMB had yet to make a final decision about whether or not to approve the request.

As explained by the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, speed limiters can electronically cap the speed at which a vehicle can be driven. Also called speed governors, these devices are not universally seen as the answer to the problem of speed-related accidents. Some opponents, for example, assert that there is no proof that these devices would in fact improve safety.

A look at truck accident realities

Data from the NHTSA for the year 2012 shows that over 330,000 trucks were associated with accidents that resulted in death nationwide. In total, more than 3,900 lives were lost in these accidents that year. Records indicate that 21 percent of the fatal crashes were impacted by speed and almost 18 percent of them involved drivers who had existing speeding violations on record.

In Ohio, fatalities in truck accidents are experienced every year. Detailed data includes the following:

  • In 2014, 130 people died in truck accidents.
  • In 2013, there were 131 fatalities in crashes with large trucks.
  • In 2012, a total of 152 lives were lost in large truck collisions.
  • In 2011, 117 truck accident deaths were recorded.
  • In 2010, 132 victims perished in truck crashes.

These five years provide a clear picture of the danger that large trucks pose to others on the roads in Ohio.

Keeping Ohioans safe

When someone in Ohio is injured or loses a family member due to the negligence of a truck driver, action should be taken. Talking with an attorney is an important first step in understanding the options available for seeking compensation.