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Senate funding panel avoids controversy in DOT bill

While its House counterpart made waves with legislation and commentary related to electronic logging devices and autonomous commercial vehicles, the Senate Appropriations Committee on July 27 approved a Department of Transportation appropriations bill that basically avoids controversy related to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Perhaps the most controversial step the committee took related to motor carriers was language in the committee report that directs FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to "fully and expeditiously address all public comments" on the proposed rule to require speed limiting devices on heavy commercial vehicles. But while the full Senate last year approved a provision on the DOT funding bill to require a rulemaking on speed limiters, the committee's report language seems to lean against adopting speed limiting devices. "The final rule should address the impact of creating speed differentials on highways and consider the costs and benefits of applying the rule to existing heavy vehicles that are equipped with speed limiting devices," the committee said.

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