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Agencies proposing forcible speed limints on trucks

South Carolina motorists may be interested to learn the U.S. government is considering requiring technology that would force drivers of semi-trucks and other large vehicles to dive slower while on the nation's highways. The federal agencies promoting the cap on speeds truckers can drive say doing so would reduce the number of accidents between trucks and smaller vehicles substantially.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are proposing that devices be installed on vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds. These devices would electronically cap speeds at anywhere from 60 to 68 miles per hour, with the exact limit to be determined. The agencies say this would reduce the number of fatal truck accidents and save an annual $1 billion in fuel costs. Big rigs already have the devices installed, but speed caps are not set on many of them.

Safety organizations have endorsed the proposal, though truckers say speed caps could result in more accidents since they would be forced to drive slower than posted speed limits on some highways. The federal agencies will take public comments on the proposal for 60 days before they take final action on it.

Accidents between semis or other large vehicles, such as buses, and small vehicles, such as passenger cars, can result in more serious injuries and fatalities than crashes between two smaller vehicles. People who have suffered injuries in an accident caused by a speeding, distracted or otherwise negligent truck driver may want to meet with an attorney to discuss the filing of a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and the trucking company.

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