State officials begin data collection on truck safety regulations
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol will collect data on the rear impact guards of trucks, also known as "underride" guards, during the week of Aug. 27.
An underride guard is attached to the back of most trucks to ensure cars do not slide under the wheels in the case of a collision.
Officials said the data collection is part of a nation-wide effort to determine how to regulate this potentially life-saving piece of equipment.
A Missouri trucking authority warned, however, if the weight of impact guards were increased in an effort to make them more safe, trucks would not be able to haul as much cargo.
This would lead to more trucks on the road, and more potential collisions.
Tom Crawford, President and CEO of the Missouri Trucking Association said it remains to be seen if this new regulation would increase or decrease the total number of fatalities in Missouri.
"The NHTSA say that mandating a 250 pound underride guard would produce another 3 deaths and 800 pounds would produce another 9 deaths," Crawford said. "I don't know if I buy that."
If they do add more weight, more trucks will be on the road.
I-70 commuter David Rabon said, if more trucks end up on the road, he believes companies would need to emphasize road safety for truckers.
"I think if they had more trucks, they would have to be stricter on the rules," Rabon said.
After the data is collected this week, it will be up to the federal government to decide whether the US should adopt these regulations.