Ohio Senator Kenny Yuko has created a proposal that would require commercial trucks to install side guards and to establish technical specifications for them.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 16
He introduced this proposal, Senate Concurrent Resolution 16, to Congress on October 25, 2017, in hopes of enacting such legislation.
Yesterday, I introduced SCR 16 to urge Congress to require commercial trucks to install side guards. https://t.co/DII5OyOEHF
— Senator Kenny Yuko (@KennyYuko) October 26, 2017
The National Center for Statistics and Analysis reported that nearly half of cyclists and more than one-quarter of pedestrians killed by a large truck in the US first impacted the side of a truck. Further, more than 550 pedestrians and cyclists in the country were killed after side impacts with trucks, according to Yuko’s press release.
“This legislation is long overdue,” said Senator Yuko. “As it stands, the absence of adequate regulations on commercial trucks is a serious hazard to road users. This bill could help save lives.”
Currently, there are only state regulations for rear guards, but none governing the use of side guards. Rear guards are focused more on protecting individuals in a truck and car crash, not specifically crashes between a pedestrian or cyclist and a truck.
Yuko’s press release also reported that the United Kingdom has required trucks to install side guards since 1986. Subsequently, the country has seen a 61% drop in cyclist fatalities and a 20% decrease in pedestrian fatalities caused by side impact collisions.
If one state were to pass such a legislation, it would not take much for other states to enact similar safety measures. This legislation has the potential to greatly disrupt compliance and technical standards in the commercial motor vehicle industry.
Similarly, Boston, Chicago, New York, and Seattle have begun to implement side guard technology on city-owned vehicles.
— CDOT (@ChicagoDOT) November 1, 2017
Trucking associations have voiced concerns about the cost-effectiveness of this proposed legislation, as well as critiqued the technological challenges that would inevitably come into play.
Some argue that with the use of side guards provides an aerodynamic advantage; however, in comparison to more regulation and more weight to haul, the aerodynamic advantage might not be enough to convince truck drivers of the benefits.
Studies by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation have determined the cost of side guards to be an average of $847.
Senator Yuko’s press release did not detail a budget or define who is expected to pay for side guards on every truck in Ohio if this legislation were to pass.