This morning, Senator Gillibrand took the opportunity at a Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Hearing on to ask Chris Spear, CEO of the American Trucking Associations, some questions about truck underride.
Thank you, Senator Gillibrand, for continuing to move us forward toward an end to preventable underride tragedies.
I met with Chris Spear on March 29, 2017, to discuss our newly drafted underride bill. And I wrote a post in May in response to the kinds of concerns he raised in the hearing today. He asked Senator Gillibrand to encourage NHTSA to speed their evaluation of whether the added weight of side guards would compromise the structural integrity of trailers.
Here is that post: Question for the ATA: Is it necessary to choose EITHER crash avoidance OR occupant protection — not BOTH?
And here is the response to Mr. Spear’s concerns — from the inventor of the AngelWing side guard, Perry Ponder:
AngelWing has undergone extensive standard industry testing and analysis including durability track testing. Designed by a trailer engineer (me), AngelWing works in harmony with existing trailer designs with no effect on the trailer structure or durability.
Help hasten the installation of effective truck underride protection. Sign & Share our petition: Congress, Act Now To End Deadly Truck Underride!
Senator Gillibrand asked Paul Trombino — in his nomination hearing for the position of Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) — some pointed questions about the underride problem. Her questions to him included asking whether he was aware that the IIHS had successfully crash tested a side guard at 40 mph in August and whether he would commit to studying the issue and responding to her within three months if he was appointed to that position.
Go, Senator Gillibrand! Thank you for drawing attention to this and asking for tangible action.
WUSA9 reports that Senator Schumer has joined our call for stronger underride laws.
WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA9) – Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, (D-N.Y.) is launching a major effort to improve critical safety features on semi-trailers that could save hundreds of lives on U.S. highways.
The WUSA9 Special Assignment Unit has reported on the issue for weeks.
On Friday, Sen. Schumer called on the federal government to update and upgrade safety standards by requiring trucks be equipped with energy-absorbing rear underride guards.
Schumer is also calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to require trucks be equipped with side underride guards. He also asks for new research into front underride guard standards. . .
Watch their news report here: Powerful Senator joins calls for stronger semi-trailer underride guard laws
After learning of yet another terrible side underride tragedy earlier this month in New York, we reached out to NY legislators asking them to support this cause.
How sad it is that it takes tragedies like these to bring about change. How hopeful I am that we are moving quickly to seeing comprehensive underride protection become a reality. Let’s do this!