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American Truck Associations renews call for commercial truck speed limiters

While driving down Interstates 84 or 91, Hartford residents have likely witnessed many cars and trucks traveling over the speed limit. While the state of Connecticut still has a maximum speed limit of 65 MPH, several other states in the U.S. have passed measures to increase speed limits to between 70 and 85 MPH.

Despite legal speed limits and the hefty fines doled out for speed violations, speeding is widely practiced and largely accepted and many drivers routinely travel above the posted speed limit. However, speeding is also dangerous and, according to the American Trucking Associations, speed plays a role in approximately 30 percent of annual U.S. fatal crashes.

Speeding is especially dangerous when it comes to heavier and larger motor vehicles. National statistics show that speeding is a major factor in approximately 18 percent of fatal commercial truck accidents. A fully loaded commercial truck can weigh 20 or more tons. In cases where a loaded tractor-trailer is traveling at 70 or more MPH, it takes longer to slow and stop thereby putting drivers and passengers in smaller and lighter vehicles at an increased risk of suffering serious injury or death. 

Given the significant public safety hazards posed by speeding commercial trucks, it makes sense to take action to limit their speeds. For nearly a decade, the ATA has urged the federal government to do just that as it's called for the mandatory use of heavy vehicle speed limiters. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration agreed in 2011 to pass a commercial truck speed limiter mandate, the measure was never implemented.

Connecticut residents who have been impacted by a truck accident in which a truck driver was speeding, fatigued, distracted or otherwise negligent in causing an accident; would be wise to contact an attorney.

Source: Trucking info, "ATA Urges Fast Action on Speed-Limiter Rule," David Cullen, April 20, 2015

Governors Highway Safety Association, "Speed Limit Laws," May 2015

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