Tag: H3437

Comment Letter Re: Support for H.3437, An Act requiring backup cameras on certain vehicles

Comment Letter Re: Support for H.3437, An Act requiring backup cameras on certain vehicles

January 18th, 2022

Joint Committee on Transportation
Representative William Straus, Chair

Re: Support for H.3437, An Act requiring backup cameras on certain vehicles

Dear Chairman Straus, Vice Chairs Keenan and Devers, and members of the committee,

Members of the Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition respectfully request that the committee report out favorably on H.3437 An Act requiring backup cameras on certain vehicles.

H.3437 An Act requiring backup cameras on certain vehicles would require the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to include regulations around having rear visibility camera systems, or “backup” cameras for motor vehicles over 10,000 pounds that are owned or leased by the commonwealth or a city or town of the commonwealth. As of May 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires all new vehicles to be manufactured with backup cameras. However, this only applies to vehicles under 10,000 pounds, meaning large trucks are not included in this law. These large trucks have significant blind spots¹, making it challenging for drivers to see what is behind them when backing up. Requiring backup cameras could be an important safety measure for preventing backover crashes involving large trucks and vehicles, and protecting vulnerable road users like people walking and biking—particularly children and older adults who are most impacted by these kinds of crashes².

In Massachusetts over the last five years (2017-2021), there have been 33 crashes involving trucks backing up and people walking, resulting in 2 fatalities³. Additionally, two workers at a construction site in Boston were struck and killed when a co-worker backed up a truck and pushed them into a trench in February 2021. While the ownership history of all of these trucks is unknown, we are confident that beginning with state- and municipally-owned vehicles will act as a model for private operators to install video technology; the impact of which will help prevent the needless loss of life of people walking on roadways and sidewalks in Massachusetts.

Implementing these requirements, particularly when paired with other truck safety measures included in H.3549 An Act to reduce traffic fatalities, would make measurable improvements for the safety of vulnerable road users around large trucks.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

The Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition

Cheryl Pavlik, Allston Brighton Health Collaborative
Galen Mook, Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition
Jarred Johnson, TransitMatters
Adam Shutes, WalkUP Roslindale
Becca Wolfson, Boston Cyclists Union
Stacey Beuttell, WalkBoston
Janie Katz-Christy, Green Streets Initiative
Emily Stein, Safe Roads Alliance
Alex Epstein, Somerville Alliance for Safe Streets
Julia Wallerce, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy
Catherine Gleason, LivableStreets Alliance
Josh Ostroff, Transportation for Massachusetts

¹ Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ourroads/large-blind-spots)
² NHTSA Report on Backover Crashes (https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/811144.pdf)
³ MassDOT IMPACT portal (https://apps.impact.dot.state.ma.us/cdp/home)