A rule mandating the use of speed limiting devices in commercial rigs is one piece of valuable legislation among many others on Donald Trump’s regulatory chopping block, despite the rule’s widespread support among industry groups, trucking companies, and safety advocates.
The proposed speed limiter rule calls for the implementation of devices that cap the maximum speeds of commercial trucks between 62 and 68 mph. It is the product of a decade’s worth of brokering, compromise, and refinement that not only promises to save hundreds of lives each year, but would lower fuel consumption and bring up to $6.5 billion in additional benefits per year.
Still, despite its support among most trucking companies and safety groups, there is little chance the rule will survive the crudest and most indiscriminate anti-regulatory measures the U.S. has ever seen. Shortly after taking office, Donald Trump signed an executive order that requires regulators to eliminate two regulations for every new one passed.
“It is common sense that speed kills. That is especially the case for a large tractor trailer. This regulation will save lives,” says Beasley Allen lawyer Chris Glover, who handles truck accident cases from the firm’s Atlanta office. “I’ve handled case after case where people’s lives wouldn’t have been turned upside down and loved ones wouldn’t have been lost if the truck would have just slowed down. I cannot comprehend the rationale for not implementing a regulation that is clearly the right thing to do simply because it would be a new regulation.”
Trump’s executive order targeting new regulations also brought an immediate halt to all pending legislation. More than 40 other rules regulating automobiles, highways, aviation, and rail face the same fate. Eighty percent of those rules, many of which emerged as our knowledge of deadly disasters grew, are designed to improve safety. Killing them would be akin to throwing out years of insight stemming from costly National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigations and recommendations. It’s as if the NTSB has spent the past 15 years probing transportation disasters for fun.
Unfortunately, American citizens are the ones who are going to pay for the Trump Administration’s anti-regulatory zeal, not just with their money, but with their lives. Elimination of the speed limiter rule for commercial trucks and more than a dozen other pending rules in the Transportation Department would cost taxpayers nearly $200 billion in deaths and injuries in accidents, higher fuel consumption, and a multitude of other losses, according to DOT estimates.
Chris Glover works out of our firm’s Atlanta office, where one of his specialties is the handling of truck accident cases. If you would like to talk to Chris about a case involving any sort of heavy truck, you can email him at Chris.Glover@beasleyallen.com or call him at 800-898-2034.
Source: Insurance Journal
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