U.S. inspectors to focus on underride guards

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GREENBELT, Md. – Roadside inspectors in the U.S. will be taking a close look at rear underride guards during selected days between Aug. 27-31, as the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) looks to gather related data.

Last year, U.S. senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Marco Rubio introduced the Stop Underrides Act of 2017, and have asked the alliance to add rear underride guards to North America’s out-of-service criteria.

The data collected during the exercise, officially known as the Rear Impact Guard Check safety initiative, will be reported this September to the CVSA’s vehicle committee during the organization’s annual conference and exhibition in Kansas City, Mo.

“The alliance uses data to support its decision-making process,” said CVSA president Capt. Christopher Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol. “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.”

Officers won’t actually be doing any thing different, other than filling out a related form to be submitted to CVSA, he added. The data on rear-impact guards may be collected during Level 1, 2, 4 or 5 inspections.

The Stop Underrides Act would require rear underride guards to meet a specific performance standard, as well as side underride guards on new equipment with gross vehicle weight ratings of more than 10,000 lb. It would also lead to research on front underride guards to keep trucks from overriding passenger vehicles.


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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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  • Underride guards were a great invention, back in 1962 a woman ran into the back of my trailer and I didn’t a guard and her car went under my trailer right up to her windshield, she had serious injuries.
    We used to call it a ICC bar.

  • Underride guards won’t help the problem of distracted drivers, only common sense can take care of this. 90 percent of the trucks on the road do less than the speed limit anywhere in the USA, while automobiles are doing well over 70 in a 55 zone or upwards of 80 on a 70 mph interstate. If a car hits a rear end of these trailers at a 30 mph difference, it’s the same as hitting a wall, and if they are going to fast to recognize the side of a trailer, then it still won’t help. Cars aren’t made like they were on the 80s and before, now they are aluminum and plastic. Nothing will help at the speed some of these people go.