Senate bill would force DOT to institute speed limiter mandate, set 65 mph limit

Updated May 26, 2021

A bill introduced late last week in the U.S. Senate would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to resume work on a rule to require heavy-duty trucks to be equipped with speed limiters and require a limited speed of 65 mph.

Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Georgia Republican, filed the legislation June 27 into the Senate’s Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. It would require all new trucks to be equipped with speed limiters set at 65 mph, as well as existing trucks with speed limiting capabilities to have the same cap.

Due to Executive Orders signed by President Trump in his first days in office, DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tabled a rulemaking that sought to institute a speed limiter mandate. The agency was scheduled to publish a proposed rule in September 2017, but has since moved the rulemaking to a long-term agenda item.

Isakson’s bill likely won’t gain the traction it needs to prevail in Congress, though he could try to attach it to a larger transportation bill, such as an annual DOT appropriations bill or a highway authorization bill.