Although Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways has fought for years to require retrofitting of older trailers with reflective tape, it slammed the new rules announced last week.
The new ruling, effective in 60 days, requires trailers manufactured before Dec. 1, 1993, to be retrofitted with red-and-white reflective tape or reflex reflectors. Motor carriers have two years to comply.
CRASH's beef is with the provision that allows companies up to 10 years to switch over to the required reflective markings if they have already voluntarily fitted trailers with other reflective materials.
"For the OMC to now allow 10 more years for complete compliance amounts to a continuing death sentence for unsuspecting American motorists," says Jennifer Mooney Tierney, CRASH board member, whose father was killed 15 years ago in what CRASH calls a "conspicuity crash."
The new rules are the first time the Federal Highway Administration has required trucking companies to retrofit older vehicles to meet a new-vehicle standard. Since Jan. 1, 1993, the government has required conspicuity tape or reflectors on new trailers.