FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND ELECTED OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE LEGISLATION TO REQUIRE CROSSOVER MIRRORS ON LARGE TRUCKS TO ELIMINATE BLIND SPOTS
All Applicable City Government Trucks Have Crossover Mirrors
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, State Senator Martin J. Golden and Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman today announced legislation to require crossover mirrors on large trucks to eliminate blind spots. Crossover mirrors, or convex mirrors, are installed on the front edge of the vehicle hood to allow the driver to see persons or objects directly in front of their vehicle. The legislation, introduced in the State Senate by Senators Golden and Andrew J. Lanza and in the Assembly by Assemblywoman Millman, would require all trucks, tractors, and tractor-trailers or semi-trailer combinations registered in New York State with a maximum gross weight of 26,000 pounds or more and a conventional cab configuration, to be equipped with crossover mirrors when operating in a city with a population of more than one million people. The Bloomberg Administration has worked to secure passage of crossover mirror legislation since 2004. The Mayor also was joined by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis at the announcement in Bay Ridge at the Donna and Michele Blanchard Plaza, which is located at 92nd Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway where Donna Blanchard and her daughter Michele were struck and killed by a van in 1994.
"We've made traffic safety a priority from day one in our Administration - and we've gotten results with record lows in fatalities and massive reductions in the number of accidents," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Despite our progress, one area that continues to be a problem is pedestrians getting struck by trucks. We've been pushing this law for years and its time has come. We need the State Legislature to act, and we need them to do it now - before another precious life is cut short. I want to thank Senators Golden and Lanza and Assemblywoman Millman for introducing this bill and working to make our streets safer."
"Crossover mirrors should be essential safety equipment for trucks, not a blind spot in our state safety laws," said Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "It's common sense that drivers should be able to see what's directly in front of them. Crossover mirrors can help prevent tragedies like what happened in Williamsburg last week and make our streets safer for our youngest and most vulnerable pedestrians."
"Trucks equipped with crossover mirrors eliminate the truck driver's blind spot and allow drivers to see pedestrians crossing in front of them," said Senator Golden. "I am proud to have introduced this legislation in the State Senate and urge my colleagues to pass this bill this session. This is about saving lives and keeping New Yorkers safe on our streets. I commend Mayor Bloomberg for his leadership and look forward to working with him on this legislation so to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries in New York."
"Today, we can't imagine anyone fighting against the installation of airbags or protective child seats in our cars," said Assemblyman Joseph R. Lentol. "That is exactly how we need to think about this issue. A simple installation of a reasonably priced object has the potential to save lives. It's just common sense."
"Pedestrian deaths have long been a chilling reality for New Yorkers, and we must take every step possible to prevent such tragedies from occurring," said Assemblywoman Malliotakis. "This legislation seeks to add convex mirrors to the front of exceedingly large trucks that drive through large cities like New York, so that blind spots are reduced and truck drivers will have an increased ability to locate nearby pedestrians. It is incumbent upon elected officials to protect the safety of their constituents, and this issue has posed a threat to public safety for far too long. The Federal Department of Transportation has indicated that three-quarters of pedestrians killed by large trucks were killed by impact from the front of the vehicle. I commend Senator Golden and Assemblywoman Millman for identifying this grave problem and fighting for this common-sense solution. The importance of pedestrian safety cannot be overstated, and this legislation will have a direct impact on making the City of New York a safer place to traverse."
Crossover mirrors allow the driver to see any person at least three feet tall who passes at least one foot in front of their vehicles. City school buses have been required to have these mirrors since the mid-1970s. Last year, Transportation Commissioner Sadik-Khan sent a memo to all City fleet managers informing them that all applicable City vehicles are required to have crossover mirrors. The City has more than 4,600 trucks and buses that meet the criteria - all have crossover mirrors. The City incorporated a requirement for crossover mirrors in procurement specifications in 2007, so trucks and busses have crossover mirrors installed at the time of purchase.
The cost to install a crossover mirror ranges from $55 to $135. A tank of gas for a tractor trailer is approximately $400.
The blind spot in the front of large trucks has contributed to a significant number of pedestrian deaths in New York City since the mid-1980's, and may have contributed to last week's tragic accident on Heyward Street in Williamsburg, where four-year-old Moses Englender was struck and killed by a delivery truck.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's 2009 Traffic Safety Facts, 66 percent of pedestrians killed by trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds were initially impacted by the front of the truck. In New York City, there have been 161 fatal accidents and 2,732 injury accidents involving trucks and pedestrians between 1999 and 2008.
Stu Loeser/Marc La Vorgna (212) 788-2958
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