A truck safety enforcement group is providing on-the-ground support to reduce traffic deaths and injuries that occur when four-wheelers run into and collide with the backs of tractor-trailers.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) announced during the week of Aug. 27-31, each state’s commercial motor vehicle law enforcement department may select one day of that week to collect data on rear impact guards, also known as underride guards, on semi-trailers in the United States.

CVSA, which is made up of both trucking and law enforcement members, is often asked to weigh in on and make recommendations for policies related to safety and enforcement, and to provide guidance to enforcement, industry and policy makers. HELP Inc., the provider of PrePass, is a CVSA associate member.

“As a data-driven organization, any decisions to support or oppose an issue must be supported by data analysis and strategic planning,” CVSA said in a statement. “Consequently, the alliance is collecting information on rear impact guards to be well informed and properly equipped to assess and address rear impact safety requirements on commercial motor vehicles. The event will also highlight this critical issue for motor carriers and drivers.”

Last year, legislation known as the Stop Underrides Act of 2017 was introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries caused by underride crashes and to improve motor carrier and passenger vehicle safety. Although the legislation has not progressed, CVSA said it received a letter from Gillibrand and Rubio on Feb. 8, 2018, asking the alliance to consider updating its current North American standard out-of-service criteria to add rear underride guards to its list of critical truck safety violations.

The data collected during the Rear Impact Guard Check safety initiative will be reported to the CVSA Vehicle Committee during the CVSA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Kansas City, Missouri, in September. Based on that data, the committee will make a recommendation to the CVSA board of directors on how to proceed with this issue.

“The alliance uses data to support its decision-making process,” said CVSA President Christopher Turner, a captain with the Kansas Highway Patrol. “Using quality, verifiable data and analytics allows the alliance to assess and analyze information that can be used to support our stance on various issues, topics and propositions.”

Rear Impact Guard Check is a one-time, one-day CVSA enforcement initiative. Data on rear-impact guards may be collected during Level I, II, IV or V Inspections.

“It’s important to note that inspectors will be conducting business as usual and will not be doing anything differently during Rear Impact Guard Check, other than filling out a data collection form that they’ll submit to CVSA,” said Turner. “Drivers and motor carriers should not be impacted by this initiative.”

(Photo: Courtesy of CVSA)