New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

RAINIER HARRIS

City and State NY City Council may require truck underride guards by RAINIER HARRIS

NY City Council may require truck underride guards

The bill has been referred to the Committee on Transportation which Rodriguez chairs. Councilmember Kallos told City & State in a phone interview that he expects the bill to move quickly through the council because it has the support of the chair of the relevant committee and Speaker Corey Johnson is likely to support the bill, given that Johnson wrote in 2014 which became law in 2015. 

Kallos said he works especially hard on the issue of side guards because the mayor has recently opened a marine transfer station in his district, on the East Side of Manhattan, where “garbage trucks operated by the city are entering a ramp that bisects a children’s playground.”

In terms of how the side guards would be paid for, Kallos said it would be on a “case-by-case basis.” Kallos has not responded to follow-up emails asking for clarification as to what that means. 

A similar bill, the Stop Underrides Act of 2019, was introduced in Congress in July 2019. That bill, sponsored by Rep. Steve Cohen from Tennessee and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, called for the mandatory installation of side underride guards and strengthening rear underride guards to prevent other motor vehicles from sliding underneath. 

In a letter opposing the bill, the American Trucking Association said that equipping 12 million trailers with side underride guards, costing approximately $2,900 each, would prove disastrous for the trucking industry and “result in what is likely the largest unfunded mandate on a private sector industry in US history.” The letter added that the “expected cost of labor in installing these guards would exceed the industry’s annual net revenue, essentially putting trucking out of business, and grinding our economy to a screeching halt.”