Boston has become the first city in the U.S. requiring side guards on large trucks either owned by the city or city-contracted, to prevent serious injury and death to bicyclists and pedestrians involved in truck accidents.
Boston piloted the ordinance with its own trucks this past year at a cost of $1,800 per truck. a small price for safety.
Putting these side guards in blocks pedestrians and bicyclists from being able to fall into the large cavity of space beneath the trailer. In other words, with the barriers, truck accidents that would have previously resulted in violent fatalities will simply cause injuries.
The ordinance requires vehicles over 10,000 pounds — and tractor-trailers with a combined weight over 26,000 pounds — to have guards no higher than 21.5 inches from the ground and able to withstand a force of up to 400 pounds.
The ordinance also requires mirrors to provide truckers with better visibility.
Crossover Mirrors are a simple, $100 to $250 cost that eliminates this dangerous blind spots. The mirrors are designed so that any person who is at least three feet tall and at least one foot away from the front of the cab can be seen by the truck driver in the mirror. These mirrors are a simple, cost-effective solution that eliminates blind spots that could otherwise exist every time a truck makes a stop at a traffic light or stop sign on a city street.
In Boston, non-compliant trucks will face fines from $100 for a first offense, all the way to potential termination of the city contract.