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11 Disadvantages European Situation Several concerns have been raised against the adoption of When the European Commission required that speed limiter mandatory speed limiters in CMVs. One concern is the lack regulations be extended to new medium-size commercial vehi- of a consistent set speed across the North American conti- cles, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA nent. Differences in the set speed in Canada and the United 2001) objected to these new speed limiter regulations by stat- States could lead to a competitive advantage for one country. ing the following: For example, two different set speeds (63 and 68 mph, respectively) have been proposed in Canada and the United There is no clear evidence to show how many accidents have been prevented by fitting top-speed limiters to [large commer- States. Thus, U.S. trucks crossing the border into Canada cial] vehicles. Although, it seems likely that this measure has would have to modify the pre-set limit in their speed limiter helped to reduce speeds, and so helped to reduce casualties, it is to comply with Canadian regulations. This would cost U.S. unfortunate that the effectiveness of top speed limiters on large vehicles has not been properly evaluated. This lack of evidence drivers time and money (Guerrero 2006). Another concern is also makes it difficult to assess the likely road safety benefits of that the lack of potential income and independence may steer the EC's proposal to extend this requirement to lighter HGVs drivers away from trucking. Many drivers choose trucking [heavy goods vehicles], buses, and coaches and to midi-coaches as a profession because of the independence the job offers and minibuses. We also note that the fitment of top speed limiters may reduce speeds on trunk roads and motorways, but will have ("Slow Speed Ahead?" 2006). This would further compound no effect on urban roads, or roads through rural towns and vil- an industry situation that already has a driver shortage. lages, which have lower speed limits, and where driving at inap- propriate speed (rather than excessive) speed is the problem. The Interestingly, one safety concern relates to the inability to Regulatory Assessment shows that speeding by large vehicles is still a serious problem. Despite the existing requirement for top- accelerate in risky traffic scenarios. Although this might be a speed limiters on the heaviest vehicles, more than 80% of HGVs legitimate safety concern, fewer than 2% of crashes and con- and 50% of coaches and buses exceed the speed limits on dual flicts use acceleration as an evasive action (Hyden 1987). carriageways, and on single carriageways well more than 60% of HGVs and 23% of buses and coaches exceed the limits. There- Indeed, some have argued that drivers may be more likely to fore, while RoSPA would support the measures proposed, we do speed on roads that have a posted speed limit below the pre- not believe that they will have any significant effect on casualty set speed limit to make-up for lost time (Almqvist et al. reduction. RoSPA believes that the ultimate aim should be to 1991). However, there is no research to suggest this compen- have intelligent speed limiters fitted to all road-going vehicles, including cars, although this is clearly a long-term aim that will satory behavior is likely to occur. One respondent in the writ- depend on the results of on-going research and trials (p. 1). ten survey noted that some companies have a bonus speed program (i.e., 20 min in 8 h of extra speed to pass); this pro- The RoSPA believed the speed limiter legislation would vides the necessary acceleration in critical situations. This only be effective if it considered all vehicles and was not would appear to address the concern held by many drivers limited to new vehicles. This would prevent operators from regarding their inability to accelerate in risky traffic scenarios. keeping older vehicles on the road as long as possible to Others have suggested that slower truck speeds compared avoid regulation and inadvertently undermining safety. with the surrounding light vehicle traffic will result in more frequent and possibly sudden lane changes, which as noted earlier can be one of many factors increasing crash risk stem- Australian Situation ming from speed differentials. The current national regulatory framework to address speed- ing by heavy vehicles includes a requirement that heavy vehi- Lastly, improvements in fuel efficiency related to speed cles of more than 12 tons gross vehicle mass and buses of limiters could have a negative impact on transportation more than 5 tons gross vehicle mass must have a speed limiter funding vis a vis reduced consumption of taxable fuels fitted and be set to limit the maximum speed by acceleration (Understanding Strategies . . . 2007). In the short- to mid- to 100 km/h. The National Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy term, a fuel tax increase would be needed to offset any pol- 20032010 adopted by the Australian Transport Council icy changes that reduce fuel consumption, assuming that (ATC) has a range of strategic objectives, including better transportation funding needs increase at current rates. speed management and improved heavy vehicle speed com- pliance. As part of its responsibility under this strategy, ATC POLICY INITIATIVES TO reviewed regulatory approaches for improving heavy vehicle MANDATE SPEED LIMITERS speed compliance. A number of options to help address speeding heavy vehicles were explored by the ATC, includ- Europe has been more progressive than the United States ing an assessment of the costs and benefits of each option. in implementing speed limiting technology with its CMV Their selected proposed approach was fleets; however, there have been recent legislative proposals to mandate speed limiters in all CMVs in both Canada and the to develop a chain of responsibility for speed compliance. Under this approach, each party in the transport chain who can influ- U.S. (Guerrero 2006; "Slow Speed Ahead?" 2006; "Institute ence whether or not speeding occurs will have a measure of Supports Speed Limiters . . ." 2007). responsibility to ensure that the road transport task is carried out

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12 by a driver in such a manner that does not require speeding. This Bureau of Canada. The OwnerOperators Independent would oblige all parties in the transport chain to take positive Driver's Association (OOIDA) is a notable dissenter (see steps to prevent a breach of speed limits. This proposal attempts to deliver an improved culture of compliance with speed limits Opposition to Speed Limiters). in the road transport industry (Heavy Vehicle Speed Compliance 2006, p. 16). Both NHTSA and FMCSA are reviewing possible rule- making on speed limiters. Two different proposals are under The report also notes that chain-of-responsibility obligations consideration. One proposal, led by Schneider National and a relating to vehicle mass, dimension, and load restraint have group of other carriers, asked FMCSA to require all Class 7 & been in place in some jurisdictions since 2005, resulting in 8 trucks to have a speed limiter set at 68 mph (even those increased compliance with road transport law. currently on the road) (McNally 2006). The second pro- posal, submitted by the ATA, requests that all newly manu- Although tampering has been an issue with speed limiters factured trucks be equipped with a speed limiter set at no in Australia, it is significant to note that the non-technological more than 68 mph (McNally 2006; "Institute Supports Speed chain of compliance approach has been recommended over Limiters . . ." 2007). NHTSA issued a request for comments another layer of technology to improve tamper resistance. (Docket No. NHTSA-2007-26851) in January 2007 to collect Comments received in response to the Commission's pro- industry opinions regarding speed limiters. As of the writing of posal were largely positive regarding this new emphasis on this report, NHTSA received approximately 3,700 responses to chain of compliance. the docket. Supporters, including advocacy groups and truck fleets, cited both fuel economy and safety as key reasons to North American Initiatives adopt speed limiters. Owner-operators represented a large portion of the opposing view, as outlined in the OOIDA Recent legislative proposals in Canada and the United States response here. may require all heavy trucks to be equipped with a speed limiter pre-set at a top speed. The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario recently reviewed a proposal introduced by Opposition to Speed Limiters the Ontario Trucking Association and Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) that seeks to limit the top speed of all heavy OOIDA (Johnston and Shapiro 2007) is perhaps the most trucks in Ontario Province to 105 kph (or about 65 mph) vocal opponent of proposals to require certain CMVs to have (Guerrero 2006). The Ontario Trucking Association indi- speed limiters installed and set to 68 mph. OOIDA opposi- cated this measure will increase highway safety and air qual- tion centers on safety, disputing the reported safety benefits. ity (Gillam 2006). This legislation was passed in June 2008; Key points of OOIDA's position are: in Ontario 65 mph is now the maximum legal speed for trucks built after 1995. The 68 mph speed limiter setting is impractical because there are 24 states with speed limits of 70 or 75 mph. Further relating to the proposal from the CTA, federal, Trucks traveling slower than regular traffic create turbu- provincial, and territorial governments are examining the feasi- lence in the traffic flow, leading to increased lane changes bility of requiring the activation of speed limiters on all heavy and sudden braking, thereby increasing the potential for trucks operating in Canada. Transport Canada, on behalf of the cartruck crashes. provinces and territories, is currently undertaking a review of Truck maneuverability is compromised in safety-critical the implications of such a requirement from a safety, environ- situations, as there are times when greater power and mental, economic, and operational perspective. According to speed are necessary, such as one truck passing another, Spoerri (A. Spoerri, "Motor Carrier--Road Safety & Motor merging onto a highway, or getting out of the way of Vehicle Regulation, Transport Canada," Truck Speed Limiter merging vehicles. Project Workplan Status and Timetable, personal communica- Speed limiters are too rudimentary a safety tool, as trav- tion, Dec. 2007), one study is using traffic modeling to investi- eling too fast for conditions, which can occur at any gate the impact of speed differentials and cartruck interactions speed, is the speed-related behavior most commonly on highway safety and crash risk, the results of which could associated with truck crashes. OOIDA asserts that safe be very useful to the safety dialogue going forward. Another speeds in these conditions are far less than 68 mph. study is assessing the experiences of for-hire, private, and There is no specific evidence to support the claimed fuel owneroperator carriers. Results were due by spring 2008. economy improvements of speed limited to 68 mph. Studies have shown that the increase in fuel efficiency According to the CTA ("Canadian Trucking Alliance . . ." would only be in the 0.08 to 0.03 mpg range. Instead, bet- 2007), several safety and environmental groups have pub- ter aerodynamics would result in far greater efficiency. licly supported the proposal, including the Canada Safety Instead of speed limiters, it is more effective to focus on: Council, Pollution Probe, the Traffic Injury Research Foun- Improved training, including a graduated Commercial dation, SmartRisk, the Lung Association, the Canadian Driver's License course, apprenticeship programs, Transportation Equipment Association, and the Insurance and/or other forms of expanded driver training;