A high-speed optimal trailer steering controller for a tractor-semitrailer is discussed. A linear model of a tractor-semitrailer with steered trailer axles is described, and an optimal trailer steering controller is introduced. A path-following controller is derived to minimise the path-tracking error in steady-state manoeuvres using active trailer steering. A roll stability controller is introduced by adding the lateral acceleration of trailer centre of gravity as another objective in the steering controller, so as to improve roll stability in transient manoeuvres. A strategy to switch between these two control modes is demonstrated. Simulation results show that the steering controller can ensure good path tracking of articulated vehicles in steady-state manoeuvres and improve roll stability significantly in transient manoeuvres, while maintaining the path-tracking deviation within an acceptable range. Tests with an experimental tractor-semitrailer equipped with a high-bandwidth active steering system validate the controller design and simulation results. The roll stability controller reduces the measured rearward amplification by 27%.