Proposed Electronic Speed Limiter Details Released

August 26, 2016

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) jointly released their proposal requiring speed limiters on heavy trucks today.

The new rule would apply to all newly-manufactured vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating more than 26,000 lbs.  According to the proposed rule, NHTSA would require speed limiters for multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, buses and school buses, while FMCSA would require them for commercial motor vehicles. Speed limits suggested are 60, 65,or 68 mph.

The proposed standard would also require each vehicle, as manufactured and sold, to have its device set to a speed not greater than a specified speed and to be equipped with means of reading the vehicle’s current speed setting and the two previous speed settings (including the time and date the settings were changed) through its onboard diagnostic connection. 

Questions about the rule include how older trucks that do not have electronic controls will be affected. Joe Rajkovacz, director of governmental affairs for the Western States Trucking Association, said, “What I want to know is will they be grandfathered or will this be a manufacturing standard or a retrofit requirement on in-use equipment.”

Officials hope the proposal will save lives and more than $1 billion in fuel costs each year. "There are significant safety benefits to this proposed rule-making," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. "In addition to saving lives, the projected fuel and emissions savings make this proposal a win for safety, energy conservation and our environment."

DOT will seek public comment on the proposed rule for 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. Comments should be addressed to these DOT docket numbers: NHTSA-2016-0087 and FMCSA-2014-008.