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Elaine Mandel
Elaine Mandel
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Move Afoot To Limit Big Rigs' Speed on the Roads(2)

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The trucking industry is trying to take responsibility and help decrease the number of highway big rig collisions by proposing to limit big rigs’ speed on the roads.

Every year, thousands of Americans are killed or seriously injured in highway accidents involving large commercial trucks. We all know these huge vehicles can be a menace on the roads. These big rig accidents can be very serious, given the huge disparity in weight between a big rig, often 25,000 pounds or more, and the average passenger vehicle, which might weigh only one-tenth that amount.

Now, the American Trucking Association (ATA) is taking responsibility and trying to do something about the problem. Last week, the ATA proposed that all new heavy trucks be equipped with controls to keep them from traveling faster than 68 miles per hour. These speed controls are basically factory-installed microchips have been available for the past decade.

“For the sake of safety, there is a need to slow down all traffic,” said Bill Graves, the president and chief executive officer of the American Trucking Associations, based in Alexandria, Va.

The proposal, Graves said, is meant to address the problem of increasing highway-death rates, which after many years of decline have risen modestly since 2000.

However, many smaller trucking outfits don’t like this proposal because having drivers who speed gives those companies a ‘competitive advantage.’ The executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association came out strongly against the proposal. Profits are great, but public safety should come first.

Kiesel, Boucher & Larson LLP represents many families who have suffered injury or the loss of a loved one in a big rig accident.