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Bill Introduced to Cap Top Speeds of Large Trucks

Washington, D.C. – Representative Lucy McBath (GA-06) and Representative John Katko (NY-24) have introduced a bipartisan measure to limit the speed of heavy commercial trucks. The “Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act” would codify into law a new federal motor carrier safety rule that would limit large trucks to 65 mph, or 70 mph, if the truck is equipped with automatic emergency braking.

The Trucking Alliance supports the legislation. Also endorsing the bill are the Truckload Carriers Association, AAA, the Institute for Safer Trucking, Road Safe America, and the Safe Operating Speed Alliance.

The legislation will not pre-empt a state’s speed limit, but create a federal motor carrier safety standard. Commercial drivers who exceed 65 mph or 70 mph, if equipped with automatic emergency brakes, will be in violation of the federal safety regulation, rather than the state’s speed limit. Violating a federal safety standard can affect the truck driver’s safety rating.

“Millions of motorists are within a few feet of 80,000 pound tractor trailer rigs each day and there is no reason why that equipment should be driven at 75 or 80 or 85 miles per hour,” said Steve Williams, chairman and CEO of Maverick USA in Little Rock, Ark., cofounder and president of the Trucking Alliance and also a former chairman of the American Trucking Associations. “This legislation will reduce the severity of large truck crashes and make the nation’s roadways safer for our drivers and all of us.”