Road safety advocates in California and around the country are worried that President-elect Donald Trump's campaign stance on regulations could place road users in danger. During a contentious and controversial presidential election campaign, Trump vowed to support American businesses and encourage entrepreneurship by slashing regulations. He also floated the idea of forcing federal agencies to eliminate two existing regulations for every new rule put into place.
Safety groups are concerned about how these campaign promises could impact pending rule changes that would limit the maximum speeds of new heavy commercial vehicles. The regulations, which were initially proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, were published in August 2016. However, comments submitted by members of the public and trade groups must be reviewed before published rules are implemented, and it can take federal agencies a year or longer to complete this process.
Trump has said that he will take a common sense approach to regulatory reform, and groups like Road Safe America are hoping that the president-elect will see the wisdom in preventing semi-tractor trailers from exceeding posted speed limits that are as high as 85 mph on some American roads. However, trade groups like the American Trucking Association oppose the measure. These groups claim that the rule change would cause more big rig accidents by creating situations where commercial vehicles are traveling at slower speeds than surrounding traffic.
Experienced personal injury attorneys would likely welcome rules designed to protect road users by limiting the speeds of semi-tractor trailers. Accidents involving these vehicles are often extremely serious, and death or catastrophic injury is common when these collisions take place at high speeds. When pursuing compensation on behalf of truck accident victims, attorneys may study the information captured by truck data recorders to determine how fast commercial vehicles were traveling in the moments before a crash.