Products Liability Law Daily Speed limiting devices proposed for all large commercial vehicles
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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Speed limiting devices proposed for all large commercial vehicles

By Colleen Kave, J.D.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have proposed to establish a new Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) requiring that each new multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, bus and school bus with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 11,793.4 kilograms (26,000 pounds) be equipped with a speed limiting device. Comments on the proposal must be received by November 7, 2016 (NHTSA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 81 FR 61942, September 7, 2016).

The proposed FMVSS 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 On-Board Diagnostic connection. FMCSA is proposing a complementary Federal motor carrier safety regulation (FMCSR) requiring each commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a GVWR of more than 11,793.4 kilograms (26,000 pounds) to be equipped with a speed limiting device meeting the requirements of the proposed FMVSS applicable to the vehicle at the time of manufacture, including the requirement that the device be set to a speed not greater than a specified speed. Motor carriers operating such vehicles in interstate commerce would be required to maintain the speed limiting devices for the service life of the vehicle. Based on NHTSA’s review of the available data, limiting the speed of these heavy vehicles would reduce the severity of crashes involving these vehicles and reduce the resulting fatalities and injuries. The agency expressed its expectation that, as a result of this joint rulemaking, virtually all of these vehicles would be limited to that speed.

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