Tag Archives: RAMCUP

Thanks @SenMarkey for pausing on the sidewalk to hear our stories.

On the way from a meeting in the House to a meeting in the Senate, we had a chance encounter with Senator Edward Markey (D-MA). Lois Durso shared how she had lost her daughter Roya (26) twelve years ago in a truck side underride crash. I shared how I had lost my youngest two daughters, AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13), in a rear underride crash four years ago. And Senator Markey shared how he was in a car crash when he was 5.

That crash from his childhood clearly made an impression on him. So when we told him that we were looking for support for an underride bill which we had drafted, he told us that he has worked to bring about safety and that we should contact his legislative staff.

We walked away laughing and smiling at yet one more chance encounter orchestrated by the hand of God in this exhausting but exciting quest to pass the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 (RAMCUP).

WUSA9 Takes note of 2 moms who lost 3 daughters to truck underride tragedies. Thursday at 11 p.m.

WUSA9 followed us around on The Hill and then interviewed us when we were in DC in June. They will be launching a series on truck underride starting Thursday, July 13, at 11 p.m.

Mothers fight for tougher tractor trailer laws after daughters die in underride crashes, Eric Flack, Erin Van der Bellen and Elizabeth Jia, WUSA 12:18 PM. EDT July 12, 2017

Underride crash in NY this week kills 4; Ball’s in your court, Congress, to end these preventable tragedies.

Yet another tragic side underride crash occurred in New York this week. Could crash avoidance technology have prevented the collisions of two cars into the side of a jack-knifed milk tanker? Perhaps.

Could comprehensive underride protection — including side guards — have prevented the tragic outcome of 4 lives abruptly ended? Probably.

When will we take action to mandate and install effective underride protection around every part of large trucks to end these preventable tragedies? The ball’s in your court, Congress.

Let’s get The Roya, AnnaLeah and Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 introduced and passed. Post haste. No more of this senseless highway carnage.

Ready-to-introduce bill:  RAMCUP Draft 15 with Cover

 

 

How Far Have We Come In The 50 Years Since Jayne Mansfield’s Death By Truck Underride?

June 29 marked the 50th anniversary of Jayne Mansfield’s death by underride. The world knew in 1967 — if it didn’t know it before — about the terrible geometric mismatch between a car and a truck which allowed a car to ride under a truck upon collision.

In those 50 years, how many technological problems have we solved? And yet why have we been unable to solve the problem of truck underride and stem the tide of preventable, horrific, and senseless underride tragedies?

Sure we have made some headway — six trailer manufacturers have upgraded their rear underride guards and there are promising side guard solutions with one of them recently tested by the IIHS. Some manufacturers even have retrofit kits available to replace weak rear guards on existing trailers.

Yet it is well known that more could be done, but hasn’t. And why is that? Why have we been so slow to solve this problem? There are many reasons which could be cited. But the facts are the facts. People are still dying (or suffering catastrophic injuries) at an alarming rate from underride and we are seemingly content to let it continue or address it at a snail’s pace.

Not me. I am not content to take it slow and easy — not when the result is that more people will die because we didn’t act sooner. When we could have.

Take front underride or override for example. Front underride protection is one of the components we are asking for in the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 (RAMCUP). People are dying due to lack of adequate front underride protection — just like they are on the sides and rear of trucks.

In Europe, they have requirements to protect against this. Not in the U.S. So what are we waiting for? Well, that’s a good question.

Do we wait until we can reinvent the wheel here and figure it out for ourselves with years of research? Or do we speed up the process by learning from others and encouraging collaboration among relevant stakeholders?

Do we include it in the congressional mandate to the Department of Transportation and ask them to figure it out sooner rather than later? Or do we ask them to solve the side guard problem now and then later on, down the road at some unspecified time in the future, we’ll address the need for front protection?

Well, Lois Durso and I took the bull by the horn and said: We’re sick & tired of waiting. People are dying from underride no matter what part of the truck they are unfortunate enough to collide with. We need to solve every kind of underride problem and we are going to include it all in one big comprehensive piece of legislation. Because it is needed. Because it is long-overdue.

Previous posts on Front Underride Protection:

Don’t re-invent the wheel; establish a formal Committee On Underride Protection (COUP) to oversee the development of recommendations for NHTSA underride regulations.

See the history of underride rulemaking as compiled by IIHS:

From the RAMCUP bill: 

(d) UNDERRIDE PROTECTION ON THE FRONT OF LARGE TRUCKS
Include front override protection in conformance with the following
specifications:
(1) An EU requirement was introduced in 2000 based on ECE Regulation
93 requiring mandatory rigid front underrun protection defining a rigid
front underrun protection system for trucks with a gross weight over 3.5
tonnes Directive 2000/40/EEC. Studies performed by EEVC WG 14 have
shown that passenger cars can ‘survive’ a frontal truck collision with a
relative speed of 75 km/h if the truck is equipped with an energy absorbing               underrun protection system. Furthermore, these systems could reduce
about 1,176 deaths and 23,660 seriously injured car occupants in Europe
per year. Research shows that the benefits of a mandatory specification for
energy absorbing front underrun protection would exceed the costs, even if
the safety effect of these measures was as low as 5%. European
Commission; Front Underrun Protection Systems [Note: 75 kmh = 46.6028
mph]
(2) Front guards must have 3 levels of resistance; soft front for pedestrians
and cyclists, middle area must be softer than the partner vehicle in crashes
and able to absorb energy such as through crush, and rear area must be
strong and stiff enough to resist underride and rotate high-speed vehicles
away from the truck. Extend the front guard from the truck 600 mm (2 feet) to
give room for a 500 mm (1.6 feet) radius curve to deflect crash partners
including VRU and cars. The extra 600 mm should give 102 km/h or (63 mph)
of protection which would exceed a general goal of 60 mph (100 km/h) — an
average speed for highway crashes in the real world.
(3) NHTSA shall immediately issue an RFP to identify the appropriate
requirements for a front underrun protection standard.

ECE No. 93 FRONT UNDERRUN PROTECTION

Design and Optimization of Front Underrun Protection Device

https://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safety/specialist/knowledge/vehicle/safety_design_needs/heavy_goods_vehicles_en

Don’t you think that enough is enough?! Let’s make it a priority to tackle the whole underride problem post haste! If we don’t (knowing what we now know), then who should we hold responsible for the thousands of people who will most surely die from preventable underride?

No compromise. Too many have already paid the price for 50 years of compromise.

RAMCUP Capitol Hill Briefing, June 15, 9-noon: Be Part of the Solution to STOP Truck Underride Tragedies

2 Moms are returning to DC with a week full of meetings on The Hill — including meetings with 13 House Transportation Committee Member Offices. Then, on Thursday, June 15, Lois Durso and I will be hosting a Capitol Hill Briefing on the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 (RAMCUP) from 9 a.m. to noon. Our goal is to get Congress on board with the importance of this doable plan to end preventable truck underride tragedies.

How You Can Help: We will be providing refreshments to those attending the Briefing and would appreciate donations (not tax deductible) to help us cover the costs. If you can help in this way, please email me at marianne@annaleahmary.com or PM me.

SEEING IS BELIEVING: Unique Opportunity To Fund A Crash Test In Our Nation’s Capital

We are making progress on getting a bill introduced in Congress which would mandate Comprehensive Underride Protection on all large trucks. But we don’t want to take a chance that it would somehow get waylaid, defeated, or put on the back burner.

We need to convince every man and woman in the U.S. Congress to vote for the timely passing of the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017. And we think that we have the perfect plan to accomplish that lofty goal:

We are making plans for a Capitol Grounds Underride Crash Test Media Event; SEEING IS BELIEVING!

We have two major hurdles to overcome:

  1. Gaining permission to hold this event.
  2. Funding to pull it off.

We are in the process of completing the necessary paperwork to get approval for this event and hope to have backing from The Hill. Pray that this request would find favor.

The matter of funding is more elusive; thus I am posting this appeal in hopes that one or more persons will respond to this unique opportunity to change the course of history, to make a significant contribution in the push to end preventable underride tragedies. Pray for a timely and enthusiastic response to this financial need.

We have reached out to the engineers, who have been devoting their lives to designing side underride protection solutions. And we have come up with a budget to organize two crash tests, one into a trailer without a side guard and one into a trailer with a side guard:

  • Two trailers $15,000
  • Two crash cars (including transportation to the site and disposal) $3,000
  • Portable Safety Barriers $500
  • Tractors to bring the trailers to the site & to be hooked up to the trailers for crash test) $1,000
  • Engineer to run the test & insurance $3,000
  • Other costs of the Media Event $2,500
  • TOTAL CRASH TEST/EVENT Budget $25,000

 

IIHS Proves That Side Underride Crashes Are Deadly But Preventable: Seeing Is Believing

AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, dedicated to preventing vehicle violence. Donations accepted here.

Moms Who Lost Daughters In Truck Underride Collisions Push for Greater Safety

How You Can Help Us Get Comprehensive Underride Protection On Trucks

I know that I can’t be the only person in this country (or the planet for that matter) who would like to see trucks made safer to drive around. So, for anyone else who would like to help get comprehensive underride protection on trucks in the U.S., here are some ideas:

  1. Sign our Side Guard Petition to let our government & trucking industry leaders know that you want them to act NOW to SAVE LIVES by putting Comprehensive Underride Protection on large trucks.
  2. Contact Your Federal Elected Officials and ask them to support the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection bill:President Donald Trump – Contact the President of the United States by filling out the online contact form or by calling the White House switchboard at 202-456-1414 or the comments line at 202-456-1111 during business hours.
    Members of the U.S. Congress:
    U.S. Senators – Get contact information for your Senators in the U.S. Senate.
    U.S. Representatives – Find the website and contact information for your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  3. Let me know if you get any response from them, and I can invite them to join in the bipartisan discussions of this bill on The Hill.
  4. Join us in a March in DC to raise awareness & let Congress know that we want them to pass the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act — sooner rather than later. Stay tuned for details as they develop. Let us know if you are interested in joining us: marianne@annaleahmary.com.
  5. We are planning a Seeing Is Believing Media Event on the Capitol Grounds simultaneous with the March in DC.  We want Congress to be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that underride crashes are both tragic and preventable. This will require some additional resources to pull off — to cover the costs of either a crash test on site or a multimedia event with a large screen projection of the convincing IIHS side underride crash testing video footage. If you want to donate to this important project, you can do so at the AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety (501(c)(3) website.
  6. We will be sending letters to transportation companies alerting them to the IIHS research and asking them to buy trucks with comprehensive underride protection. If you would like to send some letters yourself, contact me at marianne@annaleahmary.com to find out how to do so.

Mandates take burden off manufacturers. Crash tests in labs better than crash tests occurring in real world.

Lou Lombardo has written a thought-provoking opinion piece, Creating a Demand for Crash Testing (CTTI, September 2011). It holds great value in confirming the need for comprehensive underride protection legislation to be introduced and passed in a timely manner.

“From Sweden, Germany, Japan and Korea, to Australia and the USA, there are excellent safety engineers and scientists the world over in both the private and public sectors. But, as safety legend Ralph Nader has pointed out, these people have more problems than they deserve, and more solutions than are deployed.

“The basic problem is that safety engineers in auto companies and suppliers have to convince their managements to fund safety RDTE & D (research, development, testing, evaluation, and deployment). Managements are reluctant to allocate capital unless they can see a return on investment, have to meet legal (governmental and/or liability) requirements, or face competitive imperatives (pressures or opportunities). Information, as published in magazines such as this, can increase the motivation of managements to allocate resources for crash testing — especially when there is public demand for safety.

“Demand for safety can be stimulated. How? By people, organizations, and events, both planned and unplanned. . . Think Lee Iacocca’s marketing initiative of using images of a dramatic head-on crash of two airbag-equipped Chrysler cares in which motorists walked away, saved by airbags. . .

“First, start with very important goals. . .

“Secondly, we must create lead measures of progress toward meeting these goals. . .

“The third measure is to create a safety-stimulating scoreboard that shows how corporate auto makers rank at protecting their customers and other motorists; how well insurers stimulate safety; and how well Federal and State governments improve the performance of preventing and treating needless deaths and treating people injured in crashes. Can we do this? Yes we can! . . .

“All motorists prefer more crash testing in laboratories to the millions of crash tests occurring in the real world each year.”

Read more here: https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/assets/lombardo-CTTI-Sept2011.pdf

This is very relevant to the state of underride protection in our country. In fact, it reminds me of a comment made to me recently by someone in the trucking industry. Among other things, he said that “legislation takes the burden off of the manufacturers.”

In other words, when the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act is passed, then the truck and trailer manufacturers will no longer have to work to convince their customers that it is to their advantage to have effective underride protection installed. It will just be the way it is — comprehensive underride protection on every single truck on the road. The new normal.

And, thankfully, it will no longer be inevitable that a truck crash will result in an underride tragedy. Imagine.

Someday, people might even forget that truck underride used to happen hundreds of times a year. It will be a piece of our past. And that is just fine with me.

Sen. @CoryBooker gave me directions & carried my bag from Union Station to The Hill

So. . . I get off Amtrak at Union Station in D. C. ready to walk to the Hart Senate building to join Lois Durso in a meeting with Senate committee staff. I had a general idea of which way to head. But when I couldn’t figure out which crosswalk to cross at, I decided to ask a couple of men who were heading in the same direction.

They were very gracious when I asked them which street was Massachusetts and which was the Hart Building. Then I realized one of them was Senator Cory Booker and he confirmed it was so. He and his chief of staff each began pulling one of my bags.

I mentioned that I had met him at the truck safety Subcommittee hearing recently and had lost two daughters. He remembered. As we kept walking, he was periodically swamped by grateful constituents and I carried on a great conversation with his chief of staff about the underride protection bill which Lois and I had drafted in an attempt to solve this deadly problem once and for all.

An amazing start in this crusade to garner support for a very important piece of lifesaving legislation! I could hardly wait to tell Lois how Someone was continuing to go before us and guide our steps.

Lois and I talking with Senator Booker at the Senate hearing on March 14 — one day before we jumped on the idea of writing an underride protection bill and the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 was born.

RAM CUP