OOIDA decries FMCSA's revival of speed limiter mandate

Updated May 4, 2022

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, April 29, 2022:

OOIDA reaffirms opposition to speed limiter mandate

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has long opposed speed limiter mandates on trucks and roundly criticized a new announcement from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration about proceeding with a controversial speed-limiter rulemaking.

OOIDA said that policies and devices that limit speeds for large trucks create unnecessary congestion and dangerous speed differentials among vehicles, which lead to higher accident involvement rates.

In its Wednesday notice of intent, FMCSA said it is preparing a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking to follow up on a 2016 joint proposal with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“Studies and research have already proven what we were all taught long ago in driver’s ed classes, that traffic is safest when vehicles all travel at the same relative speed,” said OOIDA President Todd Spencer. “Limiting trucks to speeds below the flow of traffic increases interactions between vehicles which can lead to more crashes.”

Additionally, most crashes involving CMVs occur in areas with speed limits below 55 mph, mitigating the effect of any potential mandate, OOIDA said.

“What the motoring public should know is that when they are stuck behind trucks on long stretches of highway, those trucks are often limited to a speed well under the posted speed limit,” Spencer noted. 

OOIDA, in 2017, published this video explaining the issues it sees with mandating speed limiters on trucks.

[Related: FMCSA again plans to explore speed limiters for heavy-duty trucks]

One sentenced, one pleads guilty in New Orleans staged-accident fraud scheme

More court action was announced recently in the ongoing staged-accident fraud scheme case targeting trucking companies and their insurers in Louisiana. U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced the sentencing of one individual and the guilty plea of another for their roles in the case.

Donisha Lee was sentenced to 10 months in prison, three years of supervised release, 100 hours of community service, restitution in the amount of $121,076.75, and a $100.00 special assessment fee.

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According to court documents, Lee, along with her co-defendants, conspired to commit mail fraud in connection with a staged collision on Sept. 6, 2017. Lee admitted that, on I-10 near the Almonaster exit, she was a passenger in a car that intentionally crashed into a tractor-trailer owned by Averitt Express. She then provided false testimony in depositions related to the case and lied about the accident and the extent of injuries.

Additionally, U.S. Attorney Evans announced the 37th guilty plea in the case. David Brown pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud for his role in the case. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine up to $250,000.

According to court documents, Brown falsely claimed that he was a passenger in a car that was struck by a tractor-trailer on May 11, 2017. In fact, the defendant conspired with others to intentionally collide with a tractor-trailer in the area of Chef Menteur Highway and Downman Road in New Orleans. This scheme caused the insurance company for the trucking company to pay over $140,000.00 in settlement funds for the May 11, 2017, collision.

[Related: How the nuclear-verdicts threat rolls downhill to small fleets and owner-operators]

Love’s opens new Minnesota location

Truck drivers looking for parking along I-94 west of Minneapolis now have more options with the opening of a new Love’s Travel Stops location in Rockville, Minnesota.

The new location offers 102 truck parking spaces, a Hardee’s restaurant opening May 9, nine diesel lanes, 10 showers, a Speedco opening at a later date and more.

The store is the company’s third in Minnesota.