The National Transportation Safety Board Want Speed Limiters

There has been pressure placed on regulators to require speed limiters and performance standards for Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB). Along with speed limiters and AEB, other crash prevention technologies have been brought up by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

In the safety improvements for 2021-2022, safety limiters, AEB, and crash prevention was named on the Top 10 Most Wanted List. Speed limiters were also listed on the NTSB’s 2019-2020 list, and AEB was in the top 10 since 2016. This has been an ongoing concern.

Chairman Robert Sumwalt stated, “Board members of the NTSB and our advocacy team continuously seek opportunities to communicate about items on our Most Wanted List (MWL). As we begin advocacy efforts for the 2021-2022 MWL, we call upon our advocacy partners to amplify our safety messages and help us bring the safety improvements that will make transportation safer for us all.”

Recommended Regulators from NTSB

The NTSB spoke on accidents related to speeding that caused approximately 100,000 fatalities between 2009 and 2019. That is about one-third of all traffic fatalities in the United States. The agency also believes that this number is not fully accurate because speed-related accidents are not always reported.

NTSB went on to say, “Speed limiters on large trucks, automated enforcement, expert speed analysis tools, and education campaigns are underused in our communities. These critical tools and strategies must be implemented to address this safety problem.”

Below you will find the NTSB recommended regulators:

  • Work together with traffic safety stakeholders to help implement a program to help increase public awareness regarding speeding as a national safety issue.
  • Modify regulations to reinforce requirements for speed engineering. Also, remove the regulation that speed limits be within five mph of the 85th percentile speed.
  • Renew speed enforcement guidelines to replicate the up-to-date automated speed enforcement technology and help encourage these guidelines.
  • Acquire performance standards for speed-limiting technology. This can include variable speed limiters and speed adaptation devices for heavy vehicles such as trucks, buses, and motorcoaches. Also, require new manufactured heavy vehicles should all be equipped with these devices.

Recommended Regulators for Commercial Vehicles

Over the past five years, NTSB has put NTSB requirements for collision prevention and connected vehicle technology on the safety improvement list. This included the AEB and forward collision warning device.

Within this list, it stated, “Yet, most passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles (such as heavy-duty trucks and school buses) on the road today are not equipped – nor required to be equipped – with such lifesaving technologies. The National Highway Traffic Administration has not developed comprehensive performance standards for these technologies, nor does it effectively evaluate them and include this information on its vehicle safety ratings.”

Below you will find the NTSB recommended regulators:

  • Finish the standards for collision warning and AEB systems for commercial vehicles. Also, require this sort of technology on all highway vehicles and new school buses.
  • Acquire performance standards for all connected vehicle technology and restart the planned rule to require this to be installed on all newly manufactured vehicles on the highway.

How does this affect drivers? Drivers should continue to maintain a safe speed and follow the speed limit posted. Also, be weather aware and slow down during bad weather. Pay attention to your surroundings and use your best judgment when roads are undergoing repair, in poorly lit areas, or in other difficult driving conditions.