Interstate motor carrier operations expert witnesses may testify on qualifications of truck drivers and federal motor vehicle safety standards. The American Trucking Associations website writes that Safety Advocates See ‘Green’ Benefits in Lowering Speeds:
Why wait until 2014 for national truck fuel economy standards when we can take strides today to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions? Steve Owings, President and co-founder of Road Safe America said in a June 28 editorial published in The Hill.
“Fuel savings can be achieved and pollution reduced immediately if you order speed governors already installed on big trucks to be set at 65 mph,” Owings said.”Excessive speed is the largest single factor in reduced fuel mileage.”
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) supports President Obama’s call for improved fuel economy standards and agrees with Owings’ assessment. The ATA recognizes the benefits of speed governing in both the Sustainability and Safety Agendas. Like the ATA, Owings recommend enacting a national speed limit not to exceed 65 mph and govern speeds on trucks manufactured after 1992 at no more than 65 mph.
“Every mile per hour above 50 mph reduces fuel mileage by one-tenth of 1 percent,” Owings said. “If a truck’s speed drops from 75 mph down to 65 mph, studies show it is able to gain one mile per gallon, which may not seem like much to a small car, but to a truck that only gets six miles to the gallon, that is a very significant impact.”
According to ATA’s sustainability plan, a truck traveling at 75 mph consumes 27 percent more fuel than one going at 65 mph. Bringing speed limits for trucks down to 65 mph would save 2.8 billion gallons of diesel fuel in a decade and reduce CO2 emissions by 31.5 million tons – equal to a year’s CO2 generated by 9 million Americans.