Last night, 60 Minutes aired a segment on America’s infrastructure, “Falling apart: America’s neglected infrastructure.” Jackie Gillan, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, released a statement on this report. In this statement, Ms. Gillan stated that,
The data is clear and indisputable. Bigger trucks mean bigger infrastructure damage, bigger safety threats and bigger economic costs to the public.
Read all of Jackie Gillan’s statement here.
One of the issues the Truck Safety Coalition advocates for is that all trucks and trailers are equipped with energy-absorbing rear impact guards mounted lower to the ground (16 inches), with vertical supports spaced farther apart (mounted 18 inches from the side edges) to effectively protect car occupants from death and injury in rear impact crashes. This safety technology is proven and well known. Additionally, we believe that actions must be taken to improve the current rear guard regulation and to include side panel and front underride (also referred to as front override) guard requirements.
A recent Volpe article announced that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has proposed a rule to the Boston City Council requiring side guards on all large city vehicles or trailers.
On September 8, Mayor Walsh proposed an ordinance that would require side guards on all city vehicles or trailers exceeding a gross weight of 10,000 pounds and on semi-trailers exceeding a gross weight of 26,000 pounds.
According to Volpe,
Side guards, which are installed on large trucks to protect bicyclists and pedestrians from falling underneath the vehicle, helped reduce bicyclist fatalities by 61 percent and pedestrian fatalities by 20 percent in the United Kingdom in side-impact crashes after side guards were required on most heavy-duty vehicles.