May 24, 2011

Assembly Passes Legislation Requiring Trucks Be Equipped With Convex Mirrors, Eliminating Dangerous "Blind Spots"

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman announced today the passage of legislation (A.1446) that would require large trucks to be equipped with crossover mirrors, to eliminate dangerous "blind spots" for truck drivers. The Assembly also passed the bill last year.

The inability of truck drivers to see the area immediately in front of the truck has contributed to a significant number of pedestrian deaths and injuries in New York City since the mid-1980s. Most recently, a 4-year-old boy was struck and killed by a truck in Brooklyn while he was riding a tricycle on May 12.

"The tragic death of 4-year-old Moses Englender is a stark reminder that we can never be too careful on our roads and that safety must always come first," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "There is a clear pattern to accidents involving trucks and pedestrians, and the installation of these mirrors will dramatically reduce the number of deaths and injuries. Today we once again passed this legislation, and we are gratified to see the Senate has now acted on this measure."

"Time and time again we hear of terrible accidents where truck drivers simply did not see children or others in front of their vehicles when they began to move," said Millman (D-Brooklyn), who first introduced this legislation after the deaths of two small boys in 2004. "This bill would require all trucks and tractor trailers to have convex mirrors as they drive through the streets of New York City, making our streets significantly safer for all of us."

The installation of these convex mirrors would assist truck drivers so they can see any person at least three feet tall passing at least one foot in front of the vehicle. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 71 percent of pedestrians killed by large trucks were struck by the front of the truck. From 1994 to 2003, in New York City, 204 pedestrians were killed and 4,698 were injured in accidents involving trucks.