Do We Need A National Speed Limit?


With the price of fuel still around record highs, many are being forced to slow down in an effort to increase fuel efficiency. However, are we ready for the government to step in and enforce a national speed limit?

That's what is being debated these days. Should Congress issue an order setting a national speed limit, much like what was done in 1974? Is the situation that dire? Will this even help those that need help the most, specifically truckers?

The price of fuel has jumped over a dollar in the last year and as a result many trucking companies that had just barely been hanging on have had to close shop. In fact, in just the first quarter of this year nearly a thousand trucking companies closed their doors. Compare that to the fact that just a little less than two thousand companies shut down last year and the image gets scary.

Closures have parked more than 42,000 trucks. The more trucks parked, the less freight being shipped. Eventually this chain of events works its way down to the American public. And are we really going to wait until we can't go to a local grocery store to buy milk (which, even if we can, will probably be 10-15 dollars a gallon)?

But can we help this situation merely by slowing our speeds down? By burning less fuel? Many truckers have already been doing just that, and many say it's not enough. Sure you save on fuel costs if you drive slower. But if you drive slower you move less freight. Move less freight and you get paid less. If you're getting paid less are you saving enough in fuel costs to make any difference at all? Would a national speed limit actually help truckers, or would it hurt them in the long run?