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Speed-limiter mandate for semis delayed - again

In May of last year, a proposed new rule by both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that would mandate installation of so-called "speed limiters" on certain commercial trucks has been delayed.

The rule was introduced in part to combat the rise in trucking accidents often caused by truckers going too fast. Today, almost a year later, the measure is still pending.

Specifically, the new rule would require the installation of speed notification devices on new commercial vehicles weighing over 27,000 lbs.

However - like all rules and regulations - procedures must be followed before they can take effect.

A rule introduced by a federal agency must first be sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval. Once the rule is approved, it is published and thereafter goes through a comment period where the public has an opportunity to respond with feedback. After that, a final rule is proposed, going through the OMB again.

After the first introduction of the speed limiter rule, it never made it to the OMB for approval last year. The projected date was pushed back to April 22 of this year.

And now, according to the Department of Transportation's monthly regulatory update, there is no set date but a projected timeline of spring.

The delay is worrisome to roadway safety advocates who believe speed is a huge culprit in the countless trucking accidents that occur on America's highways. Without this requirement, some say, truckers will continue to push deadlines in an effort to augment bottom lines since many are paid by the mile.

It remains to be seen when the rule will officially take off again and proceed through the proper channels before it's published, given that springtime is officially here.

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