Click for next page ( 30


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 29
30 owneroperators do not have speed limiters and there is no Role of Speed Limiters difference in the number of accidents between company in Overall Carrier Safety Culture trucks and owneroperators." When queried about the ways that speed limiting devices Of the 39 general comments, improvements to overall have been integrated into their overall safety culture and operations, particularly fuel economy, was a major theme. operations, respondents expressed a wide range of view- With respect to safety, several spoke in terms of speed lim- points. At least one carrier indicated that it did not consider iters as part of a larger safety management strategy, which speed limiter use a part of their safety culture, but rather as includes on-board recorders, driver feedback, and perfor- a fuel saving measure. At the other extreme, one carrier mance improvement. Several comments pointed to the un- reported that they believed speed limiters were at the heart of realistic expectations of shippers and receivers as the root their safety program--because a driver cannot exhibit safe cause of excessive speeding. As one respondent indicated, "if driving practices and speed simultaneously. you have to make up time then you are not properly dis- patching trucks--the biggest speed limit offenders are truck- Two survey responses were reported frequently by survey ers that are on a pay per trip basis." respondents. The first highlighted the "indirect" safety bene- fits of speed limiters. Five respondents indicated that speed In terms of driver response, one respondent whose drivers limiter usage was critical to the overall safety of the fleet were paid by the hour called speed a "quality of life" issue for because limiters allowed drivers to expend mental energy on their workers. The respondent noted that, "before setting the actual safe driving rather than monitoring speed. One respon- speed limit, we undertook a strong communication program dent compared the effect of speed limiters with another safety to carefully explain what we were doing, when, and why. system installed on the truck that does not allow the cruise Many drivers resisted, but they have come to accept it." control to engage while the truck's lights are turned on. In Alternatively, for other drivers paid a percentage of revenue, daylight driving, expending mental energy to manage speed "a maximum speed of 65 mph has caused us occasional diverts the driver from other safety; although during night- recruiting issues, because limiting speed is perceived to time driving, requiring a driver to expend mental energy to reduce income (and it may)." Another respondent described monitor speed reduces the chance a driver will fall into a their process of implementing speed limiters as follows: "lull" while driving. The second most frequent response noted "when first installed we experienced a lot of negativity, but the "direct" safety benefits of speed limiters. Four respondents after a very short time other issues like wages and benefits reported that reduced speeds are likely to reduce crash severity. became more important to drivers. New drivers were informed One respondent indicated that the operational model (heavy of our speed limiter policy and there have been no issues with haul) of his fleet was being especially prone to vehicular these employees." Another summed his perspective up con- crashes at high speeds. cisely by saying "if a driver objects to speed limiting you do not want that driver." Respondents were asked to list the top five components of their safety program and rank the importance of speed lim- iters within these top five rankings. Three respondents ranked RESULTS FROM TELEPHONE INTERVIEWS speed limiters "near the bottom" in terms of importance, although four respondents ranked speed limiters "very high" In an effort to gather targeted information on specific topics or "near the top of the list." The remaining respondents were related to speed limiter use among motor carrier populations, either unable to provide a ranking for the importance of the Study Team conducted structured telephone interviews speed limiters or explicitly ranked their importance "near the with 12 motor carriers. The specific speed limiter-related topics middle." addressed in the telephone survey included the role of speed limiters in the carrier's overall safety culture, driver reaction to governor use within the carrier's fleet, and the collection of data Driver Reaction to Speed Limiter Use designed to measure the safety effectiveness of speed limiters within the carrier's fleet. Carriers were selected from a list of Three respondents reported that drivers were unequivocally ATA's Safety Policy Council members, Minnesota Motor unhappy with being forced to use a speed limiter. According Trucking Association Safety Council members, and Georgia to one respondent, "They absolutely hate them. Their feel- Motor Trucking Safety Council members. Informally, an ings toward them haven't changed at all over time." How- attempt was made to collect responses from carriers of varying ever, one respondent reported that, "Drivers do not mind sizes, geographic locations, and operational models. governors at all." The majority of respondents reported that most drivers do not like speed limiters, but have accepted Of the 12 interviewed carriers, all used speed limiters them and become more accustomed to their use as most car- within their fleet operations. All of the fleets required that riers require their use. Two respondents indicated that older speed limiters be used on all fleet vehicles. However, some drivers are generally more accepting of speed limiters and carriers employed owneroperators who were not required to one respondent reported that training greatly reduced driver use speed limiters on the trucks they drove. dissatisfaction with speed limiters.