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Side Guard Requirements for Heavy Duty Trade Waste Vehicles

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Rule status: Adopted

Agency: BIC

Effective date: October 31, 2022

Proposed Rule Full Text

Adopted Rule Full Text

Adopted rule summary:

The Commission is promulgating rules to implement Local Law 56 of 2015 and Local Law 108 of 2021, respectively, which require any vehicle with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds owned or operated by an entity that is licensed or registered by the Commission and that is operated in New York City for the collection, removal, transportation, or disposal of trade waste to install side guards no later than January 1, 2023.

Specifically, beginning on January 1, 2023, the Commission will not issue Commission license plates to vehicles without side guards and will require proof that side guards are installed on all vehicles disclosed to the Commission prior to January 1, 2023. Additionally, the rules establish a process in which a licensee or registrant may apply to the Commission for a waiver of these requirements if the licensee or registrant can establish that installation of a side guard on a particular vehicle is impractical.

Comments are now closed.

Online comments: 28

  • Elizabeth Denys

    New York City is still the site of too many pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities – far from achieving the target Vision Zero goal of zero pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities. Truck side guards are an important tool to help reduce pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and need to be required on heavy duty trade waste vehicles.

    Comment added July 29, 2022 12:22pm
  • Samir Lavingia

    Side guards reduce the likelihood of a fatality in the case of a collision with a bicyclist or a pedestrian. It is a low cost way to save lives and we should require them on all large vehicles.

    Comment added July 29, 2022 12:30pm
  • Nina Sabghir

    Tragedy has struck too many due to the dangers imposed by these large vehicles. Any measure that improves safety must be required and employed.

    Comment added July 29, 2022 12:36pm
  • Matthew Denys

    I’m strongly in favor of the proposed rule. NYC’s streets are far too dangerous, and large trucks bring a disproportionate amount of that danger; adding side guards will save lives.

    Comment added July 29, 2022 12:38pm
  • Nina Sabghir

    These vehicles are big and dangerous to pedestrians and bicycle riders. Too many lives have been destroyed as a result. New York must act responsibly by requiring and employing every safety measure available.

    Comment added July 29, 2022 12:38pm
  • Jesse Lang


    I wanted to write in to say that I support the adoption of this rule. I’ve lived in NYC for a long time and I’m a frequent biker and pedestrian, and I often feel endangered when sharing the road with large trucks. This rule would be an evidence-based way to make our streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians. From what I can tell, it looks like this rule would apply to both Department of Sanitation and private waste management vehicles – I hope that I’m reading that correctly, because private waste management companies are responsible for a lot of traffic violence (many more than Department of Sanitation), so I think it’s really critical that they be included in the rule.

    Thank you for your consideration!
    Jesse Lang
    zip code: 10040

    Comment added July 29, 2022 1:37pm
  • Sara J McAlister

    I am in strong support of the proposed rule requiring side guards on heavy duty trade waste vehicles. This rule will significantly reduce the danger to cyclist and pedestrians and help the city reach its Vision Zero goals. As a frequent cyclist in Brooklyn and Manhattan, I am frequently forced to ride next to heavy duty trade waste vehicles. As a pedestrian and mother of three small children, I have frequently conflict with heavy duty trade waste vehicles running red lights, blocking intersections, making unsafe turns, and failing to yield to pedestrians. Requiring side guards would make the recklessness of heavy duty trade waste vehicle drivers less deadly for cyclists and pedestrians.

    Comment added July 29, 2022 2:19pm
  • Michelle Chai

    I add my strong support for implementing side guard requirements for heavy duty trade waste vehicles. While these large and deadly vehicles continue to share the road with vulnerable pedestrians and bicyclists, we must do everything we can to prevent severe injury and death if a person is hit by a turning vehicle. It is one of the easiest, most cost-effective tools we can use.

    Comment added July 30, 2022 2:37pm
  • Deborah Herdan

    As a nurse, mother and bicycle crash survivor I’m writing to support this proposal to require heavy-duty trade waste vehicles to have side guards and tire/wheel guards which should be standard public safety policy in NY. I agree that these provisions MAY reduce pedestrians’ and cyclists’ injuries and deaths however, these measures cannot defy the laws of physics. A multi-ton vehicle, regardless of any protective measures, WILL ALWAYS cause serious injury to vulnerable road users.

    Comment added August 1, 2022 11:36am
  • Ben Turndorf

    I’m writing to strongly support the rule – in places where similar rules have been implemented, they have led to a drastic reduction in pedestrian and cyclist deaths. We should bring these innovations to NYC.

    Comment added August 1, 2022 11:49am
  • Elizabeth

    Side and wheel guards and mandates need to be a standard requirement for all heavy-duty trade waste vehicles.
    These simple measures, and prioritizing the safety of pedestrians and cyclists with additional measures, will help reduce sever injuries and fatalities.

    Comment added August 1, 2022 2:06pm
  • Jen Brenneman

    I want to extend my support to this rule by stressing what a common sense change this rule is. Reducing pedestrian and cyclist fatalities, when more people are walking and cycling in New York than ever, is a goal everyone can agree on. The data clearly shows that side guards reduce fatalities, period. Let’s do the right thing.

    Comment added August 1, 2022 10:25pm
  • Emily

    I strongly support this rule to improve traffic safety, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians.

    Comment added August 2, 2022 9:26am
  • Colby Silver

    I am writing in support of the proposed rule. NYC streets remain too dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. Side guards play a vital role in preventing fatalities. Other cities where similar rules have been adopted have seen significant drops in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities.

    Comment added August 2, 2022 11:27am
  • Joy Rich

    A lot of trucks travel through the neighborhood I live in. Our residential streets (McDonald Avenue, Caton Avenue, and Church Avenue) are truck routes because we’re near the Prospect Expressway. Large trucks turning onto and getting off of the expressway have already injured or killed neighborhood residents. Instituting this safety precaution is essential to saving our lives, so please do it.

    Comment added August 2, 2022 12:04pm
  • Geoffrey Thomas

    Private waste vehicles have been the deadliest vehicles on NYC streets since at least the 1990s, and the problem has been getting worse in recent years, as studies have shown. It also feels like I hear stories of people killed by these trucks every few weeks, and as a bicyclist I find myself fearing these vehicles. I am glad to see this rulemaking and I think it should be implemented promptly. I would like to see the rules have a clearer definition of what makes side guard installation “impractical,” or, alternatively, the Commission commit to a strict and objective standard for this determination; two years is a very long time to be out of compliance with the spirit of the law. An installation should only be “impractical” because the truck is designed in some alternative way that avoids the safety problem, not simply because it would involve a financial expense or the work of installing them.

    Separately, I would also suggest that the Commission work with union leadership on better working conditions for drivers, as aggressive competition and demands from management effectively force drivers to drive unsafely to keep their jobs, as well as to verify any claims from owners that installing side guards would be “impractical.”

    Comment added August 2, 2022 1:28pm
  • David

    I strongly support this measure

    Comment added August 4, 2022 12:59pm
  • Charles Guthrie

    As a pedestrian and cyclist, I strongly support this measure to keep the people of New York safe.

    Comment added August 5, 2022 1:08pm
  • William Meehan

    I strongly support the adoption of this rule to reduce the death and injury on city streets. Private waste vehicles are one of the leading causes of pedestrian and cyclist death, and side guards are a low-cost solution to prevent some of that harm.

    Comment added August 7, 2022 1:18pm
  • Megan Carrier

    Side guards both serve to protect pedestrians and cyclists while improving aerodynamics and hence fuel economy, and can be easily added to any existing truck. It is a low cost way to save lives and we should require them on all large vehicles.

    Comment added August 8, 2022 10:25am
  • Megan Carrier

    I strongly support this measure to keep New York City streets safe.

    Comment added August 8, 2022 10:26am
  • Paul Schreiber

    I strongly support this common-sense rule. It can’t happen soon enough. Please require this life-saving safety feature. Side guards should be on all trucks.

    Comment added August 9, 2022 9:51am
  • Hannah Moch

    I support this measure to keep New Yorkers safe.

    Comment added August 9, 2022 9:56am
  • Logan Sachon

    I strongly support this rule to keep NYC pedestrians and cyclists safe on NYC streets!

    Comment added August 9, 2022 9:59am
  • Zach Cahalan, Truck Safety Coalition Executive Director

    Attached please find the comment in support of the proposed side underride guard requirement filed by the Truck Safety Coalition.

    Comment attachment
    Comment added August 9, 2022 2:35pm
  • Pedro Rodrigurez

    The city has already required city vehicles for have side guards, which shows the city already believes it can safe lives. So I see no reason why they can’t be required on all large vehicles. This proposal makes sense and I strongly support it.

    Comment added August 10, 2022 7:55am
  • Brian Hedden

    It’s too bad that state and federal agencies with broader powers over truck design aren’t more interested in mandating safe-design practices, but it’s good that a municipal agency is taking this step over its relatively small scope to make some of the largest trucks in its city incrementally safer to pedestrians and cyclists around them. I support this proposed rule.

    Comment added August 10, 2022 1:41pm
  • Robert Martin

    This is a small step towards making pedestrians and other vulnerable road users safer, but every step is an important one. Safer streets should be a priority.

    Comment added August 10, 2022 3:11pm