New York bill would mandate front-end mirrors for trucks

| 5/27/2011

An initiative on its way to the governor is intended to eliminate blindspots for truck drivers traveling in New York City. Large trucks base-plated in New York would be required to have front-end mirrors installed if traveling through any of the five boroughs.

The Assembly voted 103-39 to advance a bill to Gov. Andrew Cuomo that would apply to all trucks weighing at least 26,000 pounds with conventional cabs. The Senate already approved it.

The effort – S3151 – stems from a 2004 accident that resulted in the deaths of two young boys in Brooklyn, NY.

Angel Estrada, 10, and Victor Flores, 11, were waiting to cross Third Avenue in Park Slope when they were struck by the back wheel of a dump truck and dragged several feet before witnesses alerted the driver to stop, according to local reports at the time. The truck wasn’t equipped with front-end, or crossover, mirrors.

Speaking to media, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the bill would address a lingering problem in the city.

“One area that continues to be a problem is pedestrians getting struck by trucks,” Bloomberg said. “We’ve been pushing this law for years and its time has come.”

Bloomberg said the mirrors can be mounted for about $150 apiece. Trucks used by city agencies already use the mirrors.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, during a 10-year period ending in 2008, 161 pedestrians in New York City were killed and 2,732 were injured in accidents involving trucks.

“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,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, said in a statement.

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