Both citizen safety advocates, led by Stephen Owings, an Atlanta financial planner, and the American Trucking Association have joined in seeking rules requiring speed limiting devices on interstate commercial trucks. They say the devices will save both lives and money.
Owings founded Road Safe America after his son, Cullum, was killed on a Virginia interstate in 2002, returning with his brother from Atlanta to the Washington & Lee University. Stuck in traffic, there were hit from behind by a big rig traveling on cruise control set at 7 mph over the speed limit. When I chaired the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute in 2005, Steve Owings was one of our speakers.
Opposing them is the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. It says mandatory speed governors are likely to lead to more collisions (when a driver needs extra horsepower for an emergency maneuver) and increase traffic congestion (when a speed-limited truck attempts to pass another.
Stay tuned to see how this plays out in the FMCSA rule-making process.
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Ken Shigley is a trial attorney in Atlanta, Georgia who has been listed among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine), as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale). He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Mr. Shigley has extensive experience representing parties in trucking and bus accidents, products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury and burn injury cases. Currently he is Treasurer of the 40,000 member State Bar of Georgia.