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House and Senate introduce bills on underride guards

Current equipment standards are outdated according to legislators

Posted December 15, 2017

Bipartisan efforts in both Congressional chambers would require new equipment specifications to help prevent fatal underride crashes.

The bill, “Stop Underrides Act of 2017,” would require:

  • Underride guards to be installed on the sides and front of a truck;
  • Updated standards for underride guards on the back of trucks; and
  • Underride guards to be included in the annual inspection of commercial motor vehicles.

In addition, the bill requires the Department of Transportation to review underride standards every five years to evaluate the need for changes in response to advancements in technology.

The bill is sponsored by Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Marco Rubio (R-FL). The legislators noted that studies and pilot programs have shown that a simple barrier (underride guard) — when attached to the lower area of a truck — can help prevent a car from sliding underneath a truck in an accident. They believe that standards under current federal law are outdated.

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