Saturday, August 27, 2016

Making Trucks Go Slower?


I read an article in this morning's Baltimore Sun about how some brilliant person in the government wants to impose mandatory speed restrictions on trucks--supposedly in the name of safety. 

As I did my research on the topic, I found a lot of information especially in BigRig Blogger

Obviously, I do not have access to any scientific research on the matter, however, I my observation is that most truck accidents involve an automobile. Clearly, there are the single truck accidents where the accident can be attributed to too much speed--but even so, it is likely because the operator was traveling too fast for conditions--like sliding off a slippery road or flipping while traversing a cloverleaf.

The problem, in my mind, with trucks is not that they go too fast, but rather they travel too slowly and that causes automobile drivers to do dumb and dangerous things to get around them which contribute to the accidents. When trucks become blockers the speed demons on the highway's start driving aggressively to get around them. 

Limiting the maximum speed of a truck to 68 MPH, as proposed, might increase dangerous driving activities and possibly increase truck-auto accidents. There are places in the country where the speed limit on the highways is 75 MPH or higher! We tend to be myopically focused upon the east coast and extreme west coast areas.

The bigger problem, I believe, is to create situations where the trucks do not become blockers. Improve the highways so that the trucks do not block faster traffic--especially in hilly areas as they lumber at 60 MPH us a long hill with a 70 MPH speed limit. 

Installing speed limiters in trucks is not the answer, in my mind.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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