A number of large trucking firms are in favor of limiting 18-wheelers to 68mph on the nation's highways. But don't think the move is born out of an ecological desire to save fuel or improve safety. Not according to the small independent trucker who thinks it's nothing more than a PR shell game to eventually get the government to allow bigger trucks and trailers.

Petitions have been filed with NHTSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to require trucks to have speed limiters set at 68mph. All trucks built after 1990 have the devices but they are not always activated. Now, a number of large trucking firms, safety advocacy groups and the American Trucking Associations are in favor of the speed limiters.

However, the little guy says limiting speed also limits driver maneuverability, making highways less safe. But more important, it's a diversion to get the government to allow bigger, heavier trucks. A spokesperson for the ATA admits that productivity should be "part of the discussion."

One trucker said speed limiters would work only if all vehicles, including cars and SUVs, were required to go under 68mph.

Many companies voluntarily activate the speed limiters for the fuel economy as well as improving their safety record.

The public is invited to comment on the proposals.

[Source: Fred Love / The Morning News]

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