The U.S. Government Wants To Electronically Limit Truck Speeds

Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AP
Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AP

The U.S. Department Of Transportation submitted a proposal last week that would require heavy duty vehicles to be outfitted with electronic governors limiting their top speeds in an effort to improve fuel economy and safety, The Verge reports.

If the proposal were passed, it would apply to every “multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, bus and school bus” weighing more than 26,000 pounds, and would limit those vehicles’ top speeds to 60, 65 or 68 MPH—the DOT hasn’t decided which yet, as they are awaiting input from the public.

A DOT rep told the tech site their aim with this proposal, saying: “In addition to saving lives, the projected fuel and emissions savings make this proposal a win for safety, energy conservation, and our environment.”


The benefit in fuel economy is important, as earlier this month, the Feds passed new rules requiring trucks and buses to reduce carbon dioxide output by 25 percent.

So fuel economy, emissions and fuel consumption: those are all noble goals. But how do truckers feel about this? After all, this means they’d be spending more time on the road per trip. spoke with the American Trucking Association, the ATA, and it seems they’re in support of this potential legislation:

We know the cliché ‘speed kills’ is true when it comes to driving...Speed is a factor in a third of all vehicle crashes and 23 percent of all truck crashes, so slowing our vehicles down can have tremendous safety benefits.

But it seems like the ATA doesn’t just want to slow their own vehicles down, they want to slow everyone’s vehicle down. The Verge ends their article with a quote that makes me cringe:

the ATA has urged safety regulators to limit the speed of all vehicles, including passenger cars, to 65 mph. But safety groups want the speed capped at 60 mph.


I, for one, already think it’s absurd that trucks often have the same speed limits as smaller vehicles, despite the former’s inability to brake, accelerate or handle even a tenth as well as the latter. So why try to drag down cars’ speed limits, too? Leave us car drivers alone, please. I’m running late for my appointment.

Sr. Tech Editor, Jalopnik. Owner of far too many Jeeps (Including a Jeep Comanche). Follow my instagram (@davidntracy). Always interested in hearing from engineers—email me.

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Fan-bloody-tastic. Fuck that noise. Nobody is touching my car to limit my fucking speed.