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Could Higher Fuel Prices Lead To Lower Speed Limits?

Interesting note on how some truckers are starting to drive slower to save fuel costs:

Now that fuel for the first time has surpassed labor as the most significant cost for many trucking companies, it's not surprising that they are taking steps to save. But here's the tricky part. They want all of us to do the same.

The American Trucking Associations is calling for a nationwide 65-mph speed limit--not only to save fuel but as a matter of safety. "It would prevent a differential of speeds between trucks and cars, where you have cars weaving in and out to get by trucks," says Clayton Boyce, spokesman for ATA. He says 77 percent of the ATA's member companies have electronic speed limiters set at 68 mph--with many of them, like Con-Way, now opting for even lower speeds.

I don't have a good sense as to how broad of a movement there is to slow down. Nor have I been doing enough highway driving to notice if truck (and other) drivers are indeed slowing down.

But if fuel prices continue to rise (as I believe they will), we'll have more people calling for a reduction of highway speed limits. I don't know that we'll see a return to the national 55 m.p.h. standard, but a reduction to 65 m.p.h. along select (non-western) interstates is certainly conceivable.