Proposal could put brakes on big rigs speeding

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- There's a move to put the brakes on big rigs traveling highways in the Bay Area and across the country.

The proposal would forcibly limit how fast trucks can travel by using an electronic device to cap speeds. Not everyone likes the idea.

If you're a truck driver in the Bay Area the cliché, time is money, is all too real. Just ask driver Valmir Perez. "The dispatcher asks, 'Hey, where are you? I'm on the freeway,'" Perez said.

Perez has been driving for decades and still feels the pressure to deliver the goods on time, but plays it safe.

"The customer needs the load, I take my time. I don't care if I'm 45 minutes to an hour late," Perez said.

But other semi-truck drivers are trying to beat the clock. Motorists have seen it.
"I see them in the fast lane, that they shouldn't be in," said one driver.

"They drive as fast as the cars do," another driver said.

A proposal from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would impose a nationwide limit by using an electronic device to cap speeds in new trucks and buses, between 60 and 68 mph. For now, older trucks would not be impacted.

The hope is to reduce big-rig collisions, some deadly.

Henry Osaki works for Mutual Express in Oakland, a trucking company proud of its safety record.
"Safety-wise, it's a good thing," Osaki said. He says, regulating a truck's speed will save money in fuel costs, but it could drive up the cost of doing business.

"When you're forced to slow down on top of delays at the port, and other places, it's hard," Osaki said.

Many large companies already cap speeds on their trucks. Soon, all new trucks on the road could be forced to drive the limit.
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