An panel advised the Transport Ministry on Monday to require automakers and trucking firms to put speed governors on large trucks to reduce fatal traffic accidents on expressways, the ministry said.
Based on the panel’s suggestion, the ministry will revise related ordinances by the end of March 2001, aiming to have all of the 900,000 large trucks currently in operation remodeled or replaced in about 10 years, ministry officials said.
Speed governors automatically reduce fuel injection to the engine at 90 kph and would be mandatory for trucks that either weigh 8 tons or more, or have a capacity of at least 5 tons.
By installing the governor, the panel estimates the number of fatal expressway accidents involving large trucks will decline by between 20 percent and 40 percent.
In 1998, 53 accidents involving large trucks were reported on expressways, and a survey by the ministry the same year showed large trucks traveled the Tomei Expressway at an average speed of 95 kph, although the speed limit is 80 kph.
According to the panel, 23 percent of fatal accidents on expressways were caused by large trucks in 1998, 51 percent of which were collisions with other vehicles.
The new regulation would also reduce consumption of light oil by 304,000 kiloliters a year, annually saving 22.8 billion yen and cutting carbon dioxide emissions by about 800,000 tons, of the panel said.