A new proposal Friday would impose a nationwide limit by electronically capping speeds with a device on newly made U.S. vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds. Regulators are considering a cap of 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour, though that could change.
Whatever the speed limit, drivers would be physically prevented from exceeding it.
The government said capping speeds for large vehicles will reduce the
+1,115 fatal crashes involving heavy trucks+ that occur each year and
save $1 billion in fuel costs.
"But Norita Taylor, spokeswoman for the 157,000-member Owner Operator
Independent Drivers Association, said her group has opposed the speed
limiters because they create dangerous interactions between vehicles as
faster cars slow down for trucks. "Differentials in speed increase
interactions between vehicles, which increases the likelihood of
crashes," Taylor said."
Understood she's a paid industry spin doctor... but, even so, that rings
true to me given the lack of lane discipline in the USA.
Seemed to me like it was working on the Autobahns I drove on 20 years
ago.... but that was then and this is now.... and then everybody was
playing by the same rules.
There are plenty of studies showing that differences in speed between
trucks and cars in an important part of safety on highways. Also, you
will note that that it said it will reduce the 1100 crashes but not by
how much. The other thing is even if started today, given the average
age of the fleet you won't see enough trucks on the roads to make a
difference for 10 or 15 years at the earliest.
There's a company that operates around here which seems to have them on
all it's vehicles (65 MPH IIRC).... can't think of the company's name...
but every time I see one of their trucks it seems to be creating it's
own minor traffic flow problem.
I recently started subscribing to AutoMile. They send you this little
black thing about an inch long that plugs into the car's diagnostic
Every two minutes it phones home and reports the vehicles position.
$15 per month for one vehicle.... less per vehicle as more vehicles are
To make a long story short: there are no secrets anymore from anybody
who is authorized to log into the fleet's AutoMile web page: speeds,
routes, vehicle stats.... and more...
When I was shopping, I came across several such services.... so that
could be the "Electronic Logbook": pretty much immune to tampering since
it exists on a server somewhere instead of in the vehicle.
It's for the kids...
Yeah... that jumped out at me right away.
OTOH, in Germany - with everybody playing by the same rules - I drove on
4-6 lane freeways where triple tractor trailers pulling out to pass at
45 mph were sharing the road with Porsches going 150+ mph and the
Germans *claim* a lower death rate per freeway mile than in the USA.
But even if the claim is true, I would think it all hinges on everybody
playing the same set of rules and having a
consistent/rational/functional set of rules.
Call me a cynic, but I do not see either one happening in the USA
anytime soon. Differences between states for one.... A population of
adults functioning at mental level of 12-year-olds for another..... Fold
in an almost universal lack of mandatory driver training and it seems
pretty much hopeless.
Anytime someone, or especially several are going less than the flow of
traffic there will be problems.
I saw a computer demonstration of this,and then a real time from a
helocopter as how the slower driver can cause a big backup or other
When I drive down the shore with my 21' surfski on the roof, I limit
myself to 65 (the posted limit on The Atlantic City Expressway) because
of the prospect of wind loads on the ski.
Last time I counted, 138 vehicles passed me - and none slowly.
OTOH, I passed 2 vehicles: a cabover deuce-and-a-half that was getting
blown around in the wind, and a clapped out maxivan doing about 50 in
the hammer lane.
Right lane on that road moves at 71-73 depending. Left lane moves at
75 absolute minimum.... sometimes high seventies.... individuals seem to
be frequently doing 80+.
I sense a safety issue for myself doing 65: every so often some guy
closes on me, whips out to pass, and then whips back in with very, very
little room to spare.... A few inches misjudgment by one of those guys,
and I have an impact on my side front/steering wheels...... dunno what
the consequences of that are, but I can't imagine they are anything but
That's a pretty straight and flat road, easy to cruise at 75+ and curse
the guy doing 65.
Some years ago there was an incident much faster. A driver for the F C
Kerbeck dealership was delivering a Ferrari to a customer in AC. He
went by a radar trap at over 120. The cop did not even try to give
chase, but they set up roadblock at the toll booth. When stopped, the
driver simply explained, it was a nice day, good road, a once in a
lifetime opportunity. The police were impressed with his honesty and
asked to try it. Each did. Then they just told him to take it easy on
the rest of the trip.
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