INTRODUCTION OF STOP UNDERRIDES ACT OF 2019; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 39
(Extensions of Remarks - March 05, 2019)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E247]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                            HON. STEVE COHEN

                              of tennessee

                    in the house of representatives

                         Tuesday, March 5, 2019

  Mr. COHEN. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of the Stop Underrides 
Act, a bipartisan, bicameral bill I introduced earlier today along with 
my colleague on the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, 
Representative Mark DeSaulnier from California, and in the Senate, 
Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Marco Rubio, to prevent deadly truck 
underride crashes.
  An underride crash is when a car collides with a truck and goes 
underneath the body of the truck. Modern car safety features are 
designed to ensure that a passenger can walk away from a crash where 
the vehicle hits a solid wall at 35 miles per hour. In an underride 
crash, the first part of a car coming into contact with a truck body is 
the windshield, and as a result, a car's safety features are rendered 
useless. When a car collides with a truck, it will keep moving forward, 
and decapitation is a serious threat at 35 miles per hour.
  While large trucks have been federally required to have rear 
underride guards since 1953, there is no requirement to adequately 
maintain rear underride guards and they often fail. In addition, 
underride guards are not federally required to be on the sides or front 
of trucks. Too many lives have been lost or forever altered by these 
preventable crashes and the time has come for Congress to act.
  The Stop Underrides Act does just that--lays out a path to bring an 
end to these terrible and all too often fatal accidents by requiring 
all large truck trailers to have front, side, and rear underride 
  These guards, if installed, would have likely prevented the death 
ofMichael Higginbotham, who was killed in an underride crash in Memphis 
and whose parents, Randy and Laurie Higginbotham, have been urging 
Congress to take action on this long overdue issue.
  This is common sense legislation that will save lives. I urge my 
colleagues to support the passage of the Stop Underrides Act.