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Promises to cut regulations could impact trucking rules

President-elect Donald Trump's campaign pledge to curb regulations has road safety advocates in Georgia and around the country worried. Trump has urged federal agencies to remove two existing regulations for every new rule put into place. While cutting red tape is seen by some as a positive step, groups like Road Safe America are concerned about how Trump's promises could impact pending regulations published in August 2016 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The pending FMCSA and NHTSA regulations would limit the speed of new semi-tractor trailers to 60, 65 or 68 mph. Safety groups say that the rules would reduce the number and severity of semi truck accidents, but trade groups including the American Trucking Association disagree. They say that reducing the speed of large commercial vehicles would create a large disparity between truck and passenger vehicle traffic speeds that would actually make serious crashes even more likely.

The president-elect has said that a common sense approach will be taken toward regulatory reform, and safety advocates hope that he will recognize the wisdom of protecting road users from speeding tractor-trailers. The FMCSA and NHTSA rules have yet to be implemented because it could take as long as a year for the two agencies to review the more than 2,200 comments they received about the proposed measures.

The chances of a truck accident causing death or debilitating injury increase greatly when high speeds are involved, and personal injury attorneys familiar with the impact that these crashes can have on the lives of road users will likely support the proposed regulations. Establishing what transpired in the seconds before a collision can be crucial in truck accident lawsuits, and attorneys may study the information stored on commercial vehicle data recorders to determine whether or not excessive speed played a role.

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