On July 18, Governor Cuomo signed into law legislation requiring that all large trucks driven on New York City streets have crossover mirrors to allow their drivers to see what’s directly in front of them. The law will take effect 180 days after the governor signed it, in mid-January.
Once installed, the crossover mirrors will save lives. Nationally, 71 percent of all pedestrians killed by trucks were struck by the front of the truck, often because the driver couldn’t see into the blind spot in front of the cab. Moses Englender, a four-year-old killed by a truck while tricycling in Brooklyn this May, became the tragic face for the law.
The extra mirrors might have saved the life of the cyclist killed by a truck driver in East Williamsburg yesterday. According to the Daily News, the driver struck the cyclist with his vehicle’s front fender without even noticing the impact. We don’t have enough information to know precisely what happened in that crash, but if the cyclist had been more visible to the driver as he rode in front of him, the driver might have been able to take action at the last second and avoid the worst.
Three other important transportation bills still require Governor Cuomo’s signature: complete streets legislation, Mayor Bloomberg’s taxi bill, and the transit lockbox. Cuomo is expected to sign the complete streets law, which his office helped craft. The taxi bill requires some technical amendments in the legislature before it can be presented to the governor. Cuomo has not publicly taken a position on the lockbox bill, which would make it harder for the governor and state legislature to steal dedicated funds from transit riders to use elsewhere in the budget.