Congressman Cohen Promotes Trucking Safety Measure
WASHINGTON – At a hearing on “the State of Trucking in America” today, Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, heard witnesses endorse his Stop Underrides Act (H.R. 1511/S. 665). The bipartisan, bicameral bill would require the current federal standards for rear and underride guards to be upgraded to meet current industry standards as well as the installation of side and front guards to prevent cars from slipping under trucks in accidents.
Congressman Cohen made the following statement after the hearing:
“I was pleased to see that trucking safety experts and advocates support the Stop Underrides Act, a bill I have introduced the last two Congresses and re-introduced in March. My constituents, Laurie and Randy Higginbotham, lost their son Michael in an underride accident in Memphis in 2014. Large truck accidents took 4,761 lives in 2017, up 9 percent over the previous year, and up 41 percent since 2009. Requiring underride guards just makes sense.”
During the hearing, Cathy Chase, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, said requiring underride guards would save lives. Truck safety advocate Andy Young, a member of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and an attorney who represents victims and survivors of truck crashes, said it is unlikely the trucking industry would voluntarily undertake action to equip tractor-trailers with underride guards and that a federal law mandating them is necessary.