of the New Jersey Legislature have approved a bill that requires
backup mirrors or monitoring devices on most delivery trucks and
To reduce the
number of fatalities and injuries attributable to "backing
accidents," SB377 requires either a convex-shaped, rear cross-view
mirror or an electronic rear backup monitoring device on commercial
delivery vans and trucks with a cube-style, walk-in cargo box up
to 18 feet long. The mirror should be installed at the top left
rear corner of the cargo box so the operator of the truck has an
unobstructed view of the lower six feet of the entire rear width
of the truck body. A rear cross-view mirror costs about $50, according
to the bill.
The U.S. Department
of Transportation estimates up to 130 of those killed each year
in backing accidents are children. The Senate Law and Public Safety
and Veterans' Affairs Committee reported that Federal Express has
experienced a 36 percent reduction in backing accidents since installing
rear cross-view mirrors on its delivery vans.
Passed by both
houses Nov. 18, the bill currently sits on Gov. James McGreevey's
desk. The bill would take effect about four months after being signed
by the governor.
Tankersley, feature editor