A deadly truck accident that killed a doctor and three ambulance employees earlier this month in New York has led U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to push for new safety regulations that in part call for new crash impact equipment on tractor-trailers.
Schumer’s seeking immediate federal action in three areas: update the truck rear underride guard standard; require trucks be equipped with side underride guards; and study truck front underride guards.
Dr. Moon John Kim, Corey Moore, Gregg Williams and Roderick Cota were all killed after the vehicles they were riding in crashed into the side of a jack-knifed tractor-trailer on Interstate 81 in Sandy Creek, N.Y. on July 6.
Kim was traveling alone in one car while the three other men were in another. The roofs of both cars were sheared off after crashing into and traveling under an M&T milk tanker whose driver, according to police, had jackknifed the truck moments before while trying to avoid hitting deer on the highway.
Schumer vowed to explore action and legislation that would accomplish improvements to truck safety.
“Requiring trucks be equipped with underride guards is a proven technology that will save lives and make our roads safer,” Schumer said Friday at RB Ambulance Company where Moore, Williams and Cota had worked.
“Most New Yorkers, especially those upstate, drive regularly, whether to get to work or to drop their kids off at school on roads where our truck safety standards are lacking and in need of improvement to fill critical gaps to adapt in new safety technology. Drivers and passengers in this most recent crash could have been better protected if the truck was equipped with side underride guards.”
Schumer’s office issued a press release Friday stating that The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that hundreds of preventable fatalities and life-threatening injuries have occurred as a result of underride crashes, and that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended the installation of rear, side and front underride guards to improve safety.