Taliaferro, Carran & Keys, PLLC
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Mandating speeds for large vehicles on highways

Kentucky motorists who get stuck behind semis and other large trucks might think these vehicles already go slowly on the roads, but a speed cap could be placed on trucks and buses when driving on highways. Federal regulators may mandate an electronic device that does not allow vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds to travel above a certain limit that might be set at 60, 65 or 68 miles per hour.

The latest version of this forced speed reduction proposal was issued on Aug. 26 by theNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, both parts of the U.S. Department of Transportation. It has been estimated that making these devices mandatory would save $1 billion annually in fuel costs and could cut back on the more than 1,000 fatal trucking accidents that occur each year. Roadsafe America and other safety groups are in favor of the measure.

The cost for speed-limiting devices is expected to be minimal as big vehicles in the United States are already equipped with these tools, but not all the vehicles actually use this technology to set limits. One group opposing the proposal is the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association because they argue that it is not safe for large vehicles to be traveling slowly in environments where other cars are going faster.

Any truck accident could result in severe injuries when these large vehicles interact with smaller automobiles, bikes or pedestrians. If it can be determined that the accident was caused by a truck driver who was speeding or distracted or by negligent truck maintenance, an attorney could help an injured victim seek compensation from the responsible parties.

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