If you've visited our blog in the last few months, you may have read our post at the end of April in which we talked about the conflict between road speed limits and the speed limits manufacturers set for tires. As we explained in the post, which can be found here for those who are new to our blog, the speed limits placed on commercial truck tires are safety guidelines that help prevent tire blowouts and subsequent accidents.
But because it's the prerogative of each state to determine a safe road speed limit, these numbers can sometimes conflict, perhaps even creating a dangerous situation for truck drivers and other motorists as well. It's because of this danger that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has vowed to take action.
As you may or may not know, there are no federal regulations on road speed limits within the states. The establishment and enforcement of these laws are left up to state agencies who may or may not use the same criteria when establishing these limits. Here in lies the problem, some have argued, including the NHTSA's administrator Mark Rosekind who is promising an action that could reduce the chances of tire blowouts due to speed down the road.
The action Rosekind is pushing for is a regulation that would require speed-limiting devices on commercial vehicles and semi-trucks that would cap a truck's speed at the limit the tire was designed to handle. Although the issue does not appear to have resulted in any crashes at this time, Rosekind explains that this push in regulation would make sure that it doesn't lead to tragedy in the near future, stating, "You don't wait for somebody to die when you know there's a safety problem there."
Source: The Associated Press, "Safety chief wants to cap big rig speeds to fix tire problem," Meghan Barr and Tom Krisher, April 9, 2015