In the wake of a crash that killed a New Hampshire woman in 2013, a new policy has been put in place that will require drivers of oversized loads large enough to require a permit from the Department of Transportation to certify in writing that they believe that their trucks are safe for the road.
Loose Truck Tire Claims Life of Concord Woman
The new policy comes after the 2013 death of Kerry Anderson-Baker. She died on I-93 in Concord after a freak accident in which a truck hauling a modular home lost a tire, which then hit an unmarked police car before slamming into Anderson-Baker’s SUV. She was killed on impact.
According to authorities, the truck that lost the tire also lost the entire brake mechanism and should have never been on the road. They made attempts to prosecute the truck driver, but dropped the case after they determined that the brake defect probably wouldn’t have been visible with a routine inspection.
Officials Hope New Policy Will Save Lives
Though the new policy probably would not have helped save Anderson-Baker, officials hope that it will save other lives. The policy requires any driver hauling a load that is over 8 feet 6 inches wide, 13 feet 6 inches tall, 53 feet long or 80,000 pounds to attest in writing that they have personally inspected their vehicles brakes, lights, wheels and tires, among other components and they believe that their trucks are safe. This policy is in addition to federally mandated pre-trip inspections that authorities believe that many drivers skip.
Any driver who does not comply with the new policy is subject to a roadside inspection.
The president of the New Hampshire Motor Transport Association says that they are “neutral” on the new policy, which they say does not apply to traditional commercial vehicles, which fall under regulation by the Division of Motor Vehicles. They also say drivers should be performing pre-trip inspections anyway.