Should semi-trucks move slower on freeways?

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Drivers in Tempe got a late start to work Thursday morning.

Some people sat in their cars on Interstate 10 for several hours.

A semi truck had crashed into a barrier at the Broadway curve.

Debris also caused a few smaller cars to crash.

Clean up took up to 7 hours.

The big rig driver, 31-year-old Arturo Munoz, was killed.

"You really can never predict where and when a crash will occur but it's been a tough couple of days," said Arizona Department of Transportation spokesperson Doug Nintzel.

Nintzel was also talking about a big crash from Wednesday in Phoenix.

And earlier this month a big rig carrying coffee creamer crashed on the same freeway.

Some drivers question if it's time for a change in the law, requiring big rig drivers to use only the slow lanes.

"You're not going to have a decision made based on just two or three crashes occurring in a two week time period," Nintzel responded. "That really is going to happen over time, that we're taking a look at these statistics that we're looking at the data from all the crashes that are occurring."

Others suggest slower speeds for semis on the freeway.

According to ADOT, different speed limits for cars and trucks could be problematic.

"You set up conflicts where when those vehicles are passing one another you could have some hazards that develop," the ADOT spokesperson said.

AAA spokesperson Stephanie Dembowski sent us this information via email:

"AAA believes states should use engineering and traffic surveys when setting maximum speed limits for both cars and big trucks. And, this may result in lower speed limits for heavy vehicles than for cars on highways.

In any event, a reasonable and safe speed differential between cars and big trucks should be considered. AAA also believes additional research should be performed to test the safety benefits of speed differentials."

When asked why ADOT and the Department of Public Safety shuts down the freeway for hours when crashes like this happen Nintzel replied, "Today was a fatal crash, which meant the DPS had to investigate, they had to take a look at evidence and you’re not going to be able to run traffic through an area like that."

3TV tried speaking to Karen Fann (R) the chairwoman of the Transportation Committee.

We wanted to know if lawmakers are working on any legislation regarding semi truck safety.

As of print time we’ve not heard back.