Sometimes driving at a high or excessive speed may seem exhilarating and attractive, especially on Montana’s scenic highways. Still, the reality is that driver conduct involving operating vehicles at excessive speeds is not only against the law, but also dangerous. According to the American Trucking Association, speed is identified as a cause of almost 30 percent of fatal crashes. Additionally, when it comes to large or semi truck accidents in which the large truck was at fault, driving over the posted speed limit is deemed to be the main cause of nearly 20 percent of fatal truck accidents.

ATA notes that one way to prevent a truck accident caused by speeding is to regulate how fast a truck which is hauling goods can drive on roadways. Our Montana residents will find it interesting to learn that even though the issue of having a speed limit for large semi-truck seems like a common sense topic, mandating such speed limits for commercial trucks is actually often very controversial.

The federal government had begun the process of proposing a set speed limit for commercial trucks nearly four years ago, but the rule has not yet been adopted. The proposed rule would in essence mandate that all large commercial trucks have electronic speed limiters set to go no higher than 65 miles per hour.

Even though the ATA is supportive of the rule, the Owner-Operated Independent Drivers Association has opposed the rule, noting that setting different speed limits for trucks and other motorists who have to share the road can actually be a problem when they are not travelling at similar or identical speeds. The group further notes that speed limited trucks not only create road congestion but also increase the chance of vehicular collisions. For their part, the ATA is supportive of one national speed limit for all motorists regardless of whether it is a car or a semi-truck.

Source: Fleet Owner, “Speed limiting remains contentious trucking issues,” April 20, 2015