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Safety advocates fear Trump could scrap speed limiter rule

Highway safety advocates fear that the incoming Trump administration may shelve a government rule that would electronically limit the speeds of tractor-trailers traveling in Illinois and nationwide. The rule was published last August, and a public comment period ended in December.

The rule, which was proposed by the National Highway Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, would cap the speed of new trucks at 60, 65 or 68 mph. Safety advocates had hoped the rule would go into effect before the Obama administration leaves office in January, but the agencies have to review more than 2,000 public comments before making a final decision. It typically takes around a year for a new rule to move from publication to implementation.

Trump has indicated he is opposed to regulations that hinder economic growth, and safety advocates are worried that his administration will scrap or ignore the new rule on truck speeds. The concept behind the rule, which is supported by the American Trucking Association, is that limiting trucks to slower speeds will lessen the severity of collisions, which could reduce injuries and deaths. Speed limiters would also ensure that trucks do not drive faster than their tires can safely handle. Last year, an Associated Press investigation found that most truck tires cannot handle speeds exceeding 75 mph.

Occupants of other vehicles that are involved in semi truck crashes often suffer severe injuries that can leave them permanently disabled and unable to work. If the collision was caused by a truck traveling at excessive speed, the victims might want to have legal assistance when seeking compensation for their losses. This could be through the filing of a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Source: Crain's Detroit Business, "Safety advocates fear truck speed limiter rule could stall," Tom Krisher, Dec. 19, 2016

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