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New York Law Requires Crossover Mirrors on Trucks

Effective January 13, New York trucks will be required to have crossover mirrors. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the law back in July. According to the legislation, the law "is designed to reduce the risk of pedestrian deaths and injuries which can occur when truck drivers are unable to see persons directly in front of their vehicles."

Use of these mirrors to eliminate a truck's front end "blind spot" is not a new idea, however. Crossover mirrors have been a requirement on school buses since the 1970s.

The law applies to commercial trucks that weigh 26,000 pounds or more. The vehicles must also use New York City streets and be registered in the state. Using the mirrors, drivers have the ability to view anyone who is at least three feet tall as they cross in front of the truck from a distance of one foot away. Failing to have the mirrors may result in a traffic citation.

Not everyone is pleased with the new law. A representative from The New York State Motor Truck Association explained that the efficiency of the crossover mirrors declines when a truck is moving. Most trucking accidents happen when the vehicle is in motion. From 1994 to 2003, large trucks moving through New York City caused 5,000 injuries and hundreds of deaths.

Several New York City area trucking businesses are also upset with the requirement. While these companies are not based directly in the city, their vehicles may well end up on NYC streets, in which case the mirrors would be required.

However, the cost is not terribly significant as both the mirrors and installation equipment cost just under $100 - but trucking companies could find themselves face stiff penalties for failing to have crossover mirrors installed in addition to paying accident victims for things medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

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