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Truck speed-limiting debate: ongoing into the new administration

While driving your passenger vehicle out on West Virginia freeways, would you prefer to see all commercial trucks in your vicinity -- in fact, all such vehicles operating anywhere within the state -- controlled in their ability to speed by technology that limits them to, say, 60 or 65 miles per hour?

Or, conversely, would it be the case that you don't particularly care if, collectively, the speed of tractor-trailers and other big rigs is varied, with some trucks notably taking their time and others passing by at accelerated speeds?

As far as safety is concerned, there is a mixed bag of opinions regarding whether electronic speed limiters for large trucks would truly promote safe traffic outcomes for the general public in an appreciable way.

And there is, in fact, a strongly voiced view that slowing the truck population down could even increase roadway dangers by fostering traffic jams and prompting impatient drivers in smaller vehicles to take chances leading to bad outcomes.

As noted in a recent media focus on the speed-cutting technology, things might soon be coming to a head between those who favor a consistently slower truck demographic nationally and those who oppose it on the above-cited and other grounds (including its added regulatory exactions).

The incoming Trump administration is bound to consider the notion, which has already been formulated as an interim rule that is now beyond the public comment stage. The views from several commentators do not seem to suggest any particularly strong preference that has been signaled by the president or his advisers.

One ardent supporter of the speed governors says that their adoption simply reflects "common sense."

Many independent truckers counter, though, that simply requiring all large trucks to adopt the new technology ignores the different operating characteristics of cars and commercial vehicles traveling at varied speeds, as well as increases roadway risk by causing the aforementioned traffic jams.

We will keep readers duly apprised of any material developments that occur regarding the speed-limiting rule and its potential implementation.

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