The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is instituting a new inspection event to gather data on trailer underride guards as part of an effort to analyze rear impact safety requirements for commercial vehicles.
The Rear Impact Guard Check is set to take place during the week of Aug. 27-31, during which time state motor vehicle law enforcement will collect information on rear impact guards and highlight the issue for carriers and drivers. The hope is that with more data and analysis, CVSA will be able to provide an informed recommendation for underride guard safety requirements.
The Rear Impact Guard Check is a one-time, single-day enforcement initiative that will collect its data during a Level I, II, IV, or V inspection.
"The Alliance uses data to support its decision-making process," said Capt. Christopher Turner, CVSA president. "Using quality, verifiable data and analytics allows the Alliance to assess and analyze information that can be used to support our stance on various issues, topics and propositions."
The collected data will be reported to the CVSA Vehicle Committee and based on that data, the organization will make a recommendation to the CVSA board of directors on how to proceed on the issue.
"It's important to note that inspectors will be conducting business as usual and will not be doing anything differently during Rear Impact Guard Check, other than filling out a data collection form that they'll submit to CVSA," said Turner. "Drivers and motor carriers should not be impacted by this initiative."
The initiative was directed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who introduced the Stop Underrides Act of 2017 that aims to reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries resulting from underride crashes. CVSA received a letter from the two senators earlier this year asking that the Alliance add underride guards to its current North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria.
The Stop Underrides Act of 2017 has so far been introduced to the Senate and referred to applicable committees. It has not yet reached the floor for a vote by either chamber of Congress.