Luján Welcomes NHTSA Announcement of Steps to Address Underride Crashes, Advance Passenger Safety
Luján Championed Traffic Safety Initiatives in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) issued the following statement on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announcement establishing a new Advisory Committee on Underride Protection, and publishing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to consider requirements for side underride guards on new trailers and semitrailers:
“Since passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, I have been clear with the Department of Transportation that it must urgently implement critical traffic safety initiatives to enhance safety standards and keep drivers and passengers safe on our nation’s roadways. Too many families have faced the heartbreak of losing a loved one in an underride crash, and it’s critical that we take every step to put an end to these preventable tragedies.
“Today’s announcement is welcome news that NHTSA is fulfilling two critical priorities that I recently raised with Secretary Buttigieg in New Mexico: establishing an Advisory Committee and researching the need for side underride guards. These efforts will save lives, and I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Buttigieg to fully implement the safety initiatives in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
This Advisory Committee on Underride Protection fulfills a requirement set forth in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and is a key part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy. The Advisory Committee will make recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation on safety regulations related to underride crashes.
NHTSA is also publishing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to consider requirements for side underride guards. Impact guards are designed to absorb energy and prevent a passenger vehicle involved in a crash with a large truck or trailer from sliding under the impacted trailer, which causes severe injuries and fatalities.