TCA board approves 65 mph speed limiters; part of taking offensive, Burruss says
“This is the right place to be. This is what is called assuming the high ground,” TCA President Chris Burruss told delegates to the organization’s annual convention under way. (Photo: KEVIN JONES)
By LYNDON FINNEY
The Trucker Staff
KISSIMMEE, Fla. — The board of directors of the Truckload Carriers Association has approved a policy that supports the mandatory use of speed limiters to be set at a speed not to exceed 65 miles an hour.
The policy is another step in the organization’s ongoing stated effort to change the public image of trucking to better influence public policy favorable to the industry.
“This is the right place to be. This is what is called assuming the high ground,” TCA President Chris Burruss told delegates to the organization’s annual convention under way here. “I know there are members who disagree with this policy and I don’t discount the reasons why. But I think this is the type of policy that presents the opportunity for our industry to increase our visibility in a positive way. It says that not only do we preach safety, but that we are going to walk the walk. As Chairman [Gary] Salisbury said [in the chairman’s address] yesterday, we have to either step up or shut up.”
At the same time, Burruss challenged other safety organizations to step up, too.
“While I feel we are on the right side and in the right place with this policy, I believe that we are only part of that solution,” he said.
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Burruss immediately turned the spotlight on all safety organizations.
“To go on the offensive and say not only are we concerned about highway safety, we are going to do something about it, puts us in a position to challenge other groups in other industries to join us, such as to challenge the AAA to support a similar effort with personal vehicles … to challenge other groups in other industries to step up or shut up.”
The 65 mph speed limiter policy mirrors the policy of the American Trucking Associations.
Burruss also challenged delegates to work with state trucking associations to head off efforts to place tolls on existing interstate highways, especially efforts in Missouri, Virginia and South Carolina.
“While we have seen these efforts in the past, the current state of highway funding is such that success is more likely today,” Burruss said. “Both political parties are reluctant to raise fuel taxes but seem to be more open to the idea of tolling. None of us, trucking companies or consumers, can afford up to a 40-cents-a-mile tax that commercial vehicles might be required to pay if these efforts are successful.”
Such a toll rate would be equal to a $2.40-gallon fuel tax increase.
“In addition, we can’t ignore the cost to interstate communities that would wither due to the closing of existing interstate exits that would likely occur,” Burruss said. “We must be engaged in the fight on this critical issue.”
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