U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 26, 1999
Contact: David Longo
Secretary Slater Announces
Requirement To Make Large
Truck Trailers More Visible
U.S. Secretary of
Transportation Rodney E. Slater today announced a Federal Highway Administration
(FHWA) requirement that trucking companies install reflective tape or reflectors
on trailers so they can be more easily seen. The rule is part of a U.S.
Department of Transportation effort to reduce the number of crashes of passenger
cars into truck trailers at night and in times of reduced visibility.
will prevent injuries and save lives, underscoring President Clinton's highest
transportation priority--safety," Secretary Slater said. "Making truck
trailers more easily seen will help prevent crashes and thus improve the quality
of life in communities across America and make them more livable."
FHWA Administrator Kenneth
R. Wykle said that the final rule symbolizes the department's commitment to
exploring new ways to improve highway safety. It is the first time that the
agency has required trucking companies to retrofit vehicles to meet a new
vehicle standard. The department's National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration since 1993 has required trailer manufacturers to equip new
trailers with red and white reflective tape or reflex reflectors.
The final rule, applicable
to trailers manufactured before Dec. 1, 1993, becomes effective 60 days after
publication in the Federal Register and requires motor carriers to
complete retrofitting of older trailers within two years of the effective date.
As part of today's
rulemaking, the FHWA is allowing motor carriers that have voluntarily fitted
pre-1993 trailers with colors other than red and white tape to continue using
the non-conforming colors for 10 years. However, the rule requires that, at the
end of the 10-year transition period, all trailers must be equipped with
red-and-white reflective tape or reflex reflectors.
According to the FHWA,
this rulemaking will save more than 100 lives and prevent more than 1,700
injuries associated with passenger cars colliding with trailers over the next 10
years. In addition, the rule will prevent approximately 2,550
The rule is available to
the public in the DOT Docket (Docket Number 1997-2222), will be posted on the
Internet at http://dms.dot.gov/ and
also will be in the Federal Register next week.
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