- President Trump has issued a memo preventing all federal agencies from ratifying new regulations, which includes the speed limiter mandate, originally issued as a proposed rule in September, Overdrive reported Wednesday.
- The rule provoked extensive criticism within the trucking industry, despite the fact that groups like the American Trucking Association had initially requested it.
- Though critique of the rule might have incited the creation of another, final version before reaching approval, it is plausible the new administration will drop it entirely, since Trump is requiring federal agencies to withdraw two currently approved regulations for each new regulation proposed.
The 2-out-1-in requirement for new regulations effectively triples the work federal agencies need to do to pass a new rule. As the Department of Transportation shifts its focus to prepare for an infrastructure overhaul, the future of the speed limiter rule remains uncertain, at best. After all, the proposed rule was deeply unpopular within the industry.
The speed-limiter rule was unpopular for a variety of reasons, mostly due to the fact that it appears to unfairly target truckers for a universal highway safety problem.
One of the most problematic aspects of the proposal was that it failed to take into account variances in state speed limits, which, had the rule passed, would have forced truckers to travel 15 mph below the speed limit, while many passenger car drivers continued to speed. Dangerous conditions may have ensued, with tailgating and reckless passing as a result.
The rule was initially proposed by the Department of Transportation as an initiative to end roadway fatalities in the U.S. within the next 30 years. Yet, last year marked the largest increase in traffic deaths since 1966, according to the Department, and truck-related incidents rose by 4.1% compared to the previous period.