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Marty Golden

Marty Golden: Time for Strict Enforcement on Life-Saving Truck Mirrors

2:00 PM EDT on April 26, 2012

An informal survey conducted by the Daily News suggests that many trucking companies and truck drivers are ignoring the state's four-month-old crossover mirror law, and that police are not enforcing the safety measure.

The father of Moshe Englender, killed in Williamsburg last May, says the law intended to prevent similar crashes is not being enforced. Photo: Daily News

The law requires that trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds that are driven on city streets be equipped with convex, or “crossover,” mirrors, which allow drivers to see what’s directly in front of them. "Blind spot" crashes claimed the lives of Brooklyn schoolkids Juan Estrada and Victor Flores in 2004 and grandmother Theresa Alonso of Staten Island in 2010. Support for last year's iteration of the mirror bill grew after 5-year-old Moshe Englender was killed in May by the driver of a meat truck while playing on Heyward Street in Williamsburg.

The Englender family has filed suit against the driver and the company that owned the truck, the News reported yesterday. Said Wolf Englender, Moshe's father: “The law has been passed and it’s not being enforced. The more we talk about it, the more we hope that it will prevent it from happening again."

A News reporter standing on Canal Street near the Holland Tunnel counted 43 trucks that should have the mirrors, and found that about a third did not. NYPD summons reports do not itemize mirror violations, so it's impossible to know how many tickets have been issued.

The mirrors are standard equipment on school buses, and have been for decades. For a 2010 story on what turned out to be an unsuccessful push for a mirror bill, Streetsblog found mirrors and assembly kits listed at prices ranging from $23 to $57, not accounting for bulk discounts.

We contacted the office of Marty Golden, who championed the mirror bill in the Senate, regarding the Daily News report. “Trucks equipped with crossover mirrors eliminate the truck driver’s blind spot and allow drivers to see pedestrians crossing in front of them," Golden said in an e-mailed statement. "Strict enforcement of this law is necessary to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries in New York. Failure to enforce this law will prevent us from saving lives and keeping New Yorkers safe on our streets.”

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