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Side Guards on Large Vehicles

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Rule status: Adopted

Agency: DCAS

Effective date: January 1, 2023

Proposed Rule Full Text

Adopted Rule Full Text

Adopted rule summary:

The Department of Citywide Administrative Services is adopting a rule that requires large vehicles in the City Fleet and in City contracted vehicles be equipped with safety enhancing side guards by January 1, 2023, and provides for progressive requirements regarding the installation of such side guards.

Comments are now closed.

Online comments: 23

  • 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 large vehicles in the City Fleet and in City contracted vehicles.

    Comment added July 29, 2022 12:15pm
  • Nina Sabghir

    These side guards on trucks should be required by law. We must do everything to make our streets safer for pedestrians and bike riders. As is, the very fact that these vehicles are so large makes them a danger.

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

    Side guards on large vehicles have been shown to reduce the chance of death in a collision between cyclists and the vehicles. It’s a low cost way to save lives.

    Comment added July 29, 2022 12:25pm
  • 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 12:37pm
  • Brandon Budelman

    The proposed rule is vital to ensure that City fleet vehicles follow this best practice for truck safety. Side underruns have caused a number of deaths of people on foot and on bicycles in the city and these guards could have saved many of those lives, at relatively little cost especially if they are installed at the time of procuring the vehicle in the first place.

    To save many more lives, guards should also be required for all trucks operating in the City of New York.

    Comment added July 29, 2022 12:50pm
  • Lauren Oldja

    Every possible precaution should be taken to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety in order to achieve Vision Zero. First, large trucks should be banned, as is the case in other major cities outside the US. Second, requiring guard rails saves lives, and absolutely must be required for any unavoidable instances in which large trucks are required.

    Comment added July 29, 2022 12:50pm
  • 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.

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

    Comment added July 29, 2022 1:35pm
  • Sara McAlister

    I write in strong support of the proposed rule requiring side guards on large vehicles. These vehicles will prevent pedestrian and bicyclist deaths and injuries. As a frequent cyclist in Brooklyn and Manhattan, I am constantly forced to ride next to and around large vehicles given the sorry state of cycling infrastructure. As a pedestrian and parent of three small children living near the Caton Avenue truck route and Ocean Parkway, I have frequent conflict with large trucks that run red lights, block crosswalks, and ignore pedestrian right of way. Side guards would greatly reduce the chances of death and serious harm in a large vehicle-pedestrian crash.

    Comment added July 29, 2022 2:15pm
  • Caleb Pan

    Side guards and tire/wheel guards are a no-brainer. I want to add that these provisions MAY prevent pedestrian and bicyclists 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 a pedestrian.

    New York City must continue to develop comprehensive and multi-system solutions to improving pedestrian safety. The focus must be ELIMINATING the threat of vehicular injuries.

    Comment added July 29, 2022 3:23pm
  • Peter Nigrini

    Please add this requirements. City streets need to be safe for all users and side guards have been show to substantially improve safety

    Comment added July 30, 2022 9:02am
  • Michelle Chai

    I add my strong support for implementing side guard requirements for large vehicles. While large and deadly motorized vehicles (with large blind spots and fallible drivers behind the wheel) 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 2:40pm
  • David

    I’m writing to strongly SUPPORT the proposal – we should do everything we can to protect pedestrians and cyclists on the streets of NYC.

    Comment added July 31, 2022 11:02pm
  • Deborah Herdan

    As a nurse, mother and bicycle crash survivor I’m writing to support this proposal to require truck 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 11:30am
  • 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

    NYC still has far too many pedestrian and cyclist injuries and fatalities.
    The implementation of sideguards a reasonable step forward to both, and to also make drivers more aware

    Comment added August 1, 2022 1:58pm
  • Sam Anderson

    I support side guards on large vehicles. Safety measures like these are critical in reducing harm and working toward Vision Zero.

    Comment added August 1, 2022 3:44pm
  • Jen Brenneman

    I’ve been cycling in New York City for nearly 20 years, but as my children take to the streets as both cyclists and pedestrians, this rule has real urgency. Truck drivers continue to be faced with distraction after distraction — phones, limited training, tight hours, difficult intersections, and more — making a small adjustment like this to policy is a no-brainer. The stats tell the story clearly: these side guards save lives, and really any argument against that lacks moral weight. Drivers don’t want to kill people either. It’s a win for everyone.

    Comment added August 1, 2022 10:18pm
  • Fausto

    As a daily NYC biker, I am in complete support of this requirement. The cost of adding side guards to large vehicles clearly outweighs the cost of potentially losing human lives.

    Comment added August 1, 2022 10:36pm
  • Maureen Kelly

    I strongly support this proposed rule—
    Research from nations that do require side guards shows clear safety benefits. This is one of several actions we as a City must take if we are to achieve Vision Zero goals—especially in light of the dramatic increase in pedestrian and cyclists injuries and fatalities in the past two years.

    Comment added August 2, 2022 6:13am
  • Emily

    I support side guards on large vehicles. As a cyclist and pedestrian, we should continue to improve safety.

    Comment added August 2, 2022 9:23am
  • 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 large trucks and tractor-trailers 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 12:02pm
  • Geoffrey Thomas

    I generally support the proposed rule and I am glad to see the law being implemented. I think that the phase-in requirements in 15-03b are too lengthy – the legal requirement for side guards for city contracted vehicles has been known since the passage of the law last October, and contractors should have been preparing for it. This is an important safety regulation that has been demonstrated to save lives in other cities, and while I understand the need for a phase-in period, it seems to me a much smaller period, perhaps a few weeks, would be more appropriate. It does not make sense for an active contract to be operating with guardless vehicles for a year and a half!

    I also think that a couple of the exemptions in 15-04c are too permissive. Again, the requirement for side guards has been known – it does not make sense to me that “supply chain disruptions” should prevent compliance by the Effective Date. It also seems that exemption 3, the ability to claim that removing the vehicle from service would prevent performing the contract; exemption 4, the presence of a pandemic (which has been the case since before passage of the law), and exemption 5, specifically permitting “usual” circumstances, would allow contractors to effectively ignore the law in business-as-usual conditions as opposed to truly dire needs. If this text is kept, I encourage DCAS to approve exemptions only in the rarest cases.

    Comment added August 2, 2022 1:01pm