A handful of city trucks will get safety guards to keep bicyclists and pedestrians from getting caught under their wheels, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday.
As part of his Vision Zero street safety program, 240 city trucks — salt spreaders, container trucks and dump trucks — this year will be fitted with side guards between the rear and front wheels. The test run for the equipment could be expanded to 4,734 trucks in the city's fleet of 27,000 vehicles, according to the mayor’s office.
“Installing side guards on our city trucks will help prevent fatal collisions,” de Blasio said.
Truck drivers last year were involved in 23 crashes that killed a pedestrian and one that killed a bicyclist; one pedestrian and one bicyclist died this year in crashes with trucks, according to the NYPD.
The first round of installation will cover 18 medium size trucks from the Parks Department, Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Citywide Administrative Services by the end of February, according to the mayor’s office.
City trucks in Boston and Portland feature these side guards, which will cost New York $3,000 each to purchase and install on both sides of a truck, totaling $750,000 for the first set, according to the mayor's office.
“We look forward to seeing this first wave demonstrate the life-saving potential of truck guards so we can see them expanded to even more vehicles in the city's fleet and beyond,” said Paul Steely White, executive director Transportation Alternatives, a street safety and bicycling advocacy group.