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Schumer Wants Electronic Devices To Limit Speed On Trucks, Buses Over 26,000 Pounds

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is working to fast track a new plan to put the brakes on speeding big rig trucks nationwide.

Schumer announced legislation Sunday that would require electronic devices that would limit the speed on trucks and buses over 26,000 pounds.

CBS2's Ali Bauman reports Schumer is calling on the Department of Transportation to quickly finalize the proposal.

"It's dangerous. In 2014, the last year we had statistics there, 10,742 large truck crashes in New York state alone and 990 of them were unrelated to unknown speed, so that means three a day," Schumer said.

He said speeding trucks put thousands of commuters in danger every day.

"For every New Yorker or commuter who's been next to or in the crosshairs of a speeding big rig, this can't be installed fast enough," Schumer said.

Schumer's proposal would put mandatory speed limiters in large trucks and buses that prevent drivers from exceeding around 65 mph.

"Requiring electronic speed limiters on trucks will save lives, prevent injuries, and make our roadways safer by preventing high-speed damage," Schumer explained.

According to the American Trucking Association, speed is a factor in 29 percent of fatal accidents.

Schumer said 70 percent of trucking companies already use this technology. It's in Shannel Rauen's truck and she agrees it should be required in the rest.

"Some truck drivers fly past me like a car so they're easily way over the speed limit," Rauen said.

However, the American Trucking Company opposes the proposal, claiming the technology doesn't take into account different speed limits in different states, which allows "passenger vehicles to travel at much higher speeds than commercial trucks. This lack of data and direction only elevates the safety risks to the motoring public."

Tom Caggiano has been driving his truck for 40 years. He said for safer roads, lawmakers need to crack down on car drivers, whom he often has to swerve to avoid.

"They should get after people who text on the phone all the time," Caggiano said. "I pass them all day long."

Schumer estimated this technology could save 96 lives per year. He said he hoped this proposal can be in place by the end of the year.


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