Seattle DOT Taking Saving Lives Into Their Own Hands

Large trucks pose a disproportionate threat to people walking and biking. With their large blind spots, clunky steering, and terrific force, heavy trucks are involved in a far greater percentage of pedestrian and cyclist fatalities than their share of overall traffic mileage.

Many aspects of freight movement could be reformed to reduce exposure to dangerous trucks, but there’s one simple piece of equipment that can save lives immediately: side guards. Side guards prevent people from being run over by the rear wheels of trucks, and they are mandatory in several countries in South America, Europe, and Asia. But not in the U.S.

The federal government treats side guards as a voluntary safety measure, and American cities are just beginning to use their leverage to spread adoption. New York City has started to equip city-owned trucks with side guards, and Boston is taking the further step of requiring them on trucks operated by city contractors.

Now Seattle DOT is getting in on the act, Tom Fucoloro at Seattle Bike Blogreports: