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Proposal to Slow Down Big Rigs

DORRANCE TOWNSHIP — Federal officials want to force lower speeds on truckers and bus drivers, but not everyone is on board with the plan. A new proposal o...
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DORRANCE TOWNSHIP -- Federal officials want to force lower speeds on truckers and bus drivers, but not everyone is on board with the plan.

A new proposal out Friday would cap speeds with a device on newly made U.S. vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds. But some truckers think forcing them to slow down could create more headaches.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to reduce deadly crashes on interstate highways, so they're now considering making manufacturers of trucks and buses install devices that would prevent the vehicles from exceeding certain speed limits.

George Nasser has seen plenty of big rigs traveling way above the speed limit on highways.

I stay away from them. I back right off, and if I have to I get off the exit."

Transportation officials are seeking comment on whether or not to force big rigs and other big trucks to travel at 60, 65, or 68 miles per hour.

Jerry Stiner has been trucking for two decades. He says if big rigs are forced to travel too low of a speed, like 60 mph, it could lead to dangerous driving conditions for smaller vehicles.

"That's just too slow," Stiner said. "You're holding up traffic and you're just creating a mess on the highway."

The federal government plans to take public comment in the next 60 days to determine the final speed of big rigs.

"I'd say 70 is a good enough speed to maintain, to get up a hill or an incline," said Nasser.

Older vehicles would not be required to install the devices. Federal officials believe capping speeds could save more than 1,100 fatal crashes every year.