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Safety advocates seek speed governors on trucks

Safety advocates, led by Stephen Owings, an Atlanta financial planner, are joined by the American Trucking Association in seeking rules requiring speed governors on interstate commercial trucks. They say the devices will save both lives and money.

Owings started Road Safe America after his son, Cullum, was killed on a Virginia interstate in 2002. Stuck in traffic, they were hit from behind by a big rig traveling on cruise control set at 7 mph over the speed limit. When I chaired the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute in 2005, Steve Owings was one of our speakers.

Opposing them is the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. It says mandatory speed governors are likely to lead to more collisions (when a driver needs extra horsepower for an emergency maneuver) and increase traffic congestion (when a speed-limited truck attempts to pass another.

Stay tuned to see how this plays out in the FMCSA rule-making process.

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Ken Shigley is a trucking safety trial attorney representing seriously injured people in tractor trailer, big rig, intermodal container freight, cement truck, dump truck and bus accidents statewide in Georgia. He served as chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Litigation Institute in 2005, is a national board member of the Interstate Trucking Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice, and is on the National Advisory Board for the Association of Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America.

He has extensive experience representing parties in interstate trucking collision cases, and in the past two years has spoken at national interstate trucking litigation seminars in Chicago (trucking insurance), New Orleans (trial tactics and side underride issues), St. Louis (punitive damages), San Francisco (dealing with insolvent trucking companies), Atlanta (trucking insurance, closing argument), Nashville (use of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations), and Amelia Island (overview of trucking litigation).

A Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, he has been listed as a “Super Lawyer” (Atlanta Magazine), among the “Legal Elite” (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale). In addition to trucking litigation, he has broad experience in products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, spinal cord injury, brain injury and burn injury cases. Currently he is Treasurer and a candidate for President-Elect of the 41,000 member State Bar of Georgia.This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.