On Thursday, two senators reintroduced controversial legislation to require more underride guards on semi trucks.
The “Stop Underrides Act” was introduced Thursday morning by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Marco Rubio. This is the third attempt to pass the legislation.
The bill would update current truck safety standards that only require rear underride guards to include side and front underride guards as well. The bill would also tighten up safety requirements for the rear underride guard.
According to Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, 850 people were killed in crashes with the side or rear of a semi truck in 2019.
Gillibrand says that the new underride guards are necessary because even low speed crashes with tractor trailers can cause car drivers to suffer “suffer severe head and neck injuries, including decapitation.”
“Hundreds of individuals across the nation are lost to underride collisions every year, with Florida unfortunately ranking among the top states for reported fatalities. This Congress, I am proud to join my Senate colleagues in reintroducing the Stop Underrides Act,” said Senator Rubio. “As a parent with kids of driving age, I look forward to working in a bipartisan fashion to advance efforts to keep our roads safer.”
Trucking groups like the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) have opposed the Stop Underrides Act during past attempts to pass the legislation, saying that the bill “intentionally disregards reality and ignores the safety, economic, and operational concerns.” OOIDA has also argued that side and front underride guards would cost tens of billions of dollars and would be too costly to be practical.