DOT pushing slower truck speed limits

DOT pushing slower truck speed limits

The Department of Transportation (DOT) is considering a 60 mile per hour speed limit for trucks that it estimates could save as many as 500 lives each year.

The Transportation Department on Tuesday proposed requiring commercial motor vehicles to install speed-limiting devices.

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The limits would apply to trucks, buses and other large vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds.

These devices would "reduce the severity of crashes involving these vehicles and reduce the resulting fatalities and injuries,” the DOT said.

"Impact force during a crash is related to vehicle speed, and even small increases in speed have large effects on the force of impact,” the agency wrote in the Federal Register.

The joint proposal comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The DOT, which plans to set the speed limit in its final rulemaking, is proposing a restriction between 60 miles per hour and 68 miles per hour. Authorities would be allowed to check the current and previous speed settings of trucks and buses.

The Transportation Department estimates that limiting trucks to 60 miles per hour would save between 162 and 498 and lives each year, while a 68 mile per hour speed limit would save at least 27 lives.

The lower limit could cost trucking companies up to $1.5 billion to comply with, as drivers would be on the road longer, the agencies estimate.

The public has 60 days to comment.