By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that is intended to eliminate blind spots for truck drivers traveling in New York City.
Starting Jan. 18, 2012, large trucks base-plated in New York will be required to have front-end mirrors installed if traveling through any of the five boroughs. Specifically, the law applies to all affected trucks weighing at least 26,000 pounds with conventional cabs.
The effort 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.
Advocates for the new rule say it addresses a lingering problem in the city.
“The installation of crossover mirrors on large trucks will eliminate a dangerous blind spot for truck drivers,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said in a statement. He also noted that it will “help protect pedestrians in our city streets, particularly children, from being injured or killed when a truck first begins to move.”
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in previous comments that 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.
“With these new mirrors we will hopefully see fewer tragic incidents that have occurred due to truck drivers’ inability to properly see directly in front of their vehicles,” Assemblywoman Joan Millman stated.
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