Schumer Pushing for Trucks to Require "Underride Guards"

Schumer: Guards would have prevented death of Elba man

Mike Baggerman
February 20, 2018 - 3:43 pm

Senator Chuck Schumer presses for passage of Stop Underrides Act of 2017 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Congress to pass legislation which would require all tractor trailers to be equipped with crash-absorbing "underride guards".

The guards would limit how far a car goes if it is involved in an accident with a tractor trailer. The bill, called the "Stop Underrides Act of 2017", would require the guards on the front and side of the trucks along with an update on the standards for the guards in the back. 

The senator called for the bill to pass after the death of Edward "Eto" Torres, a driver from Elba who died in the multi-car pileup on the New York State Thruway near the Depew Exit (Exit 49) on January 2. The pileup was caused by blizzard-like conditions.

Torres was a truck driver himself but also a plumber and pastor in the area. He is survived by his three children and two grandchildren.

"The roads were icy," Schumer said.  "A (tractor-trailer) stopped short to avoid a crash. Eto was behind the tractor trailer and he was unable to stop. Because the truck was higher than the car, the car went right under and killed Eto."

Schumer said that rigs cost upwards of $100,000 while adding underride guards would cost less than $1,000 and he added that Torres' death would have been prevented if trucks had underride guards.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand sponsored the bill. It's also co-sponsored by Florida Senator Marco Rubio and five democrats in the Senate. A similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives.

LISTEN: Senator Chuck Schumer discusses legislation to add "underride guards"

Truck Rigs - Schumer RAW.mp3


 

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