American Trucking Associations Backs National 65 Speed Limit

The American Trucking Associations on March 27 urged the Bush administration to take several steps quickly to ensure the nation's 3.5 million truck drivers and American consumers have an affordable supply of oil. With truckers facing the highest prolonged fuel prices in history and some motor carriers seeing fuel pass labor as their largest expense, the federal government must help bring down the price of diesel fuel, ATA said.

Among the recommendations are to stop filling and instead release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; work with the states' attorneys general to combat any fuel price gouging that might occur, require speed limiters set for 68 mph or lower on all new trucks, and set a national maximum speed limit of 65 mph. "The signs are troubling. We are concerned about fuel's direct impact on our industry and also its effects on the nation's economy," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. "The industry is doing its part to conserve fuel, but we need help."

ATA said it recently sent letters to President Bush, the Department of Energy, EPA, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, DOT, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Treasury Department requesting immediate action for what ATA calls a crisis situation. The trucking industry is on pace to spend an unprecedented $135 billion on diesel fuel this year, which would be $22 billion more than last year, said the association, which represents more than 37,000 member motor carriers.

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