Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has filed an ordinance to go before City Council Wednesday 17 Sep 2014 that would require large, city-owned or contracted trucks to be outfitted with side underride guards to protect the city’s growing number of cyclists. The ordinance would apply to any trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds.
The side underride guards would be designed to prevent cyclists from being swept under large trucks when they make right turns.
Several of Boston’s fleet of large trucks already have side guards thanks to a pilot project started last year. The city tested three different types of guards on 16 different trucks. In July, a cyclist on Massachusetts Avenue was struck by a city-contracted trash truck, but thanks to the side guard, he did not suffer any life-threatening injuries. Based partly on that incident, as well as data from the project and projects in other areas, Walsh decided to make the safety equipment standard.
The ordinance also mandates convex mirrors, cross-over mirrors and bright-colored blind-spot warning stickers.
“This ordinance will implement safety protections allowing drivers of large trucks to see in the areas in front of them, where children and cyclists are invisible to the driver, and also to be able to see the sides better, reducing the risk of incidents involving cyclists, making Boston a safer place for all road users,” says Walsh.