Road Safe America Launches Drive to Require Speed Governors on Big Trucks

Oct. 5, 2009
With 400,000 truck wrecks a year, fewer crashes make everyone safer, and Road Safe America has launched a Web-based national petition drive designed to create a national groundswell of citizen demand for President Barack Obama, the Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation to take action to require electronic speed governors on heavy commercial vehicles to be set at 65 mph or slower.

Electronic speed governors have been standard equipment on big trucks since 1992, but there is no requirement for them to be activated to keep heavy commercial vehicles at a safe 65 mph. Road Safe America is urging everyone to go to and sign the petition requesting activation of speed governors on big trucks to save lives.

“The move to have a national regulation for speed governors to be set at 65 mph on big trucks already has the support of many in Congress, the American Trucking Associations, all of the national safety organizations, large insurance carriers and innumerable citizens,” said Stephen C. Owings, co-founder of Road Safe America.

“With the American people clearly behind this initiative, we encourage President Obama, Congress and the DOT to go ahead and order this common sense approach to saving lives, and we hope the voices of thousands of Americans being heard in this petition drive will motivate these public servants to finally take action.”

Everyone can sign the petition, whether they drive or not, because everyone’s safety on the road is at stake.

The 400,000 crashes involving heavy commercial trucks take the lives of almost 5,000 people every year and leave more than 100,000 injured, while research shows that slower truck speeds lead to fewer wrecks.

The United Kingdom reduced top speeds for trucks to 60 miles per hour in 1992, and to 56 miles per hour in 1994. Since speed-governing devices were introduced there, car-truck fatalities have plummeted by almost half.

Australia experienced a reduction of 26.5 percent in heavy truck fatalities between 2002 and 2004 through speed governor requirements, aggressive fatigue management programs, random drug testing and seatbelt promotion among the trucking industry. This life-saving measure of reducing the top speeds of heavy commercial trucks is a requirement in every other technologically advanced country in the world. It is time for us to catch up.

“We are not anti-trucker or anti-trucking,” said Owings. “We are pro-safety for everyone on our highways.”

Steve Owings and his wife, Susan, founded Road Safe America in 2003 after their son, Cullum, was killed when his car – stopped in an interstate traffic jam – was crushed from behind by a tractor trailer going 7 mph above the posted speed limit on cruise control.

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