People who use the Montana roads are prone to feeling uncomfortable if not outright fearful when they encounter large trucks. Being in an accident with one of these large, fast-moving vehicles can cause catastrophic injuries and death. A major worry among regulators is the speed at which these vehicles travel. Steps are being taken be federal lawmakers to address this with strongly held opinions on both sides of the issue.
Montana has recently made changes regarding speeding trucks. Still, federal intervention is stoking debate about how to handle this problem. Regardless, people who take to the roads and are worried about a truck accident or have already been involved in one need to know their options.
How the DRIVE Act would limit truck speed
The Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration would use the DRIVE Act to remove state’s rights as to speed limits by ordering commercial motor vehicles to have a device that limits how fast they can go. This is causing disagreement between those who favor state’s rights on these issues and those who believe safety is more important.
Montana has implemented laws regarding truck speed in recent years. In that past, vehicles on the interstate could travel at 80 miles per hour. Trucks, however, were limited to 65 mph. In 2019, that was increased to 70 mph. If the DRIVE Act went into effect, all trucks that weigh at least 26,001 pounds would ideally be limited to 60 mph.
Sen. Steve Danes of Montana has introduced a version of the law in the U.S. Senate. His proposal says that the law should be based on the individual states, how they are structured and their population. A widespread mandate, according to him, runs the risk of making the risks greater.
Speeding is just one danger with large trucks
Although this speed limiter proposal focuses on truck speed and how it impacts safety, there are many dangers with large trucks that go beyond how fast it is going. Truckers spend many hours on the road and could drive drowsy. They might use alcohol or drugs and be distracted behind the wheel. The speed limiter would address one challenge and not others.
When there is a truck accident, it is imperative for those involved to know how and why it happened. Given the injuries, medical costs, long-term damage and other issues they will face, they should be fully cognizant of their rights and available alternatives to make a full recovery in every way.