Text: S.665 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (03/05/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
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[S. 665 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 665

   To reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries caused by 
underride crashes, to improve motor carrier and passenger motor vehicle 
                    safety, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             March 5, 2019

 Mrs. Gillibrand (for herself, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Markey, 
 Ms. Duckworth, Mr. Peters, Mr. Wyden, Mr. Udall, and Mrs. Feinstein) 
introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the 
           Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries caused by 
underride crashes, to improve motor carrier and passenger motor vehicle 
                    safety, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Stop Underrides Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) underride crashes involving passenger motor vehicles 
        striking and traveling underneath a truck or trailer are a 
        significant public health and safety threat;
            (2) the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has 
        reported that hundreds of preventable fatalities and life-
        threatening injuries have occurred as a result of underride 
        crashes;
            (3) the National Transportation Safety Board has 
        recommended the installation of rear, side, and front underride 
        guards on tractor-trailers and rear and side underride guards 
        on single unit trucks to improve passenger motor vehicle 
        safety; and
            (4) this Act is introduced in the memory of the thousands 
        of victims of underride crashes, including--
                    (A) Roya Christine Sadigh, AnnaLeah Karth, Mary 
                Lydia Karth, Roderick Cota, Moonjohn Kim, Corey Moore, 
                Gregg Williams, Guy Champ Crawford, Carl Hall, Michael 
                Higginbotham, Sandra Maddamma, David Mathis, Mary 
                Katherine Mathis, James Mooney, Christopher Weigl, Bill 
                Zink, David Magnan, Jasen Swift, Samuel Sierra, 
                Brittany McHargue, Christopher Samuel Padilla, Riley 
                Hein, Erin Alexander, Jordan Hensley, and Edward Hall;
                    (B) those whose catastrophic injuries dramatically 
                changed their lives, including Julie Magnan, Nancy 
                Meuleners, Joshua Rojas, Maiv Yang, Anita Plantage 
                Bomgaars, and Michael B. Hawkins; and
                    (C) those whose precious lives were cut far too 
                short as a result of preventable underride crashes.
    (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries 
        caused by underride crashes; and
            (2) to improve motor carrier and passenger motor vehicle 
        safety.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    Section 30102(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking 
        ``chapter--'' and inserting ``chapter:'';
            (2) by redesignating paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), 
        (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), and (13) as paragraphs 
        (2), (3), (4), (5), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (15), 
        (20), and (22), respectively;
            (3) by inserting before paragraph (2) (as so redesignated) 
        the following:
            ``(1) `comprehensive underride protection system' means all 
        of the front underride guards, rear underride guards, or side 
        underride guards, as applicable, installed on a motor 
        vehicle.'';
            (4) by inserting after paragraph (5) (as so redesignated) 
        the following:
            ``(6) `front underride guard' means a device installed on 
        or near the front of a motor vehicle that prevents or limits 
        the distance that a vehicle struck by the vehicle with the 
        device will slide under the front of the striking vehicle.'';
            (5) by inserting after paragraph (12) (as so redesignated) 
        the following:
            ``(13) `passenger motor vehicle' has the meaning given that 
        term in section 32101.
            ``(14) `rear underride guard' means a device installed on 
        or near the rear of a motor vehicle that prevents or limits the 
        distance that the front end of a vehicle striking the rear of 
        the vehicle with the device will slide under the rear of the 
        impacted vehicle.'';
            (6) by inserting after paragraph (15) (as so redesignated) 
        the following:
            ``(16) `Secretary' means the Secretary of Transportation.
            ``(17) `semi-trailer' means a trailer, other than a pole 
        trailer, which is designed to rest upon, or be carried by, a 
        motor vehicle.
            ``(18) `side underride guard' means a device installed on 
        or near the side of a motor vehicle that prevents or limits the 
        distance that the front end of a vehicle striking the side of 
        the vehicle with the device will slide under the side of the 
        impacted vehicle.
            ``(19) `single unit truck' means a truck (excluding any 
        attached trailer).'';
            (7) by inserting after paragraph (20) (as so redesignated) 
        the following:
            ``(21) `trailer' means a vehicle, with or without motive 
        power, that is designed--
                    ``(A) to carry persons or property; and
                    ``(B) to be drawn by a motor vehicle.''; and
            (8) by inserting ``The term'' after the paragraph 
        designation in each of paragraphs (1) through (22) (as so 
        redesignated).

SEC. 4. UNDERRIDE GUARD RULEMAKING.

    (a) In General.--Subchapter II of chapter 301 of title 49, United 
States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
``Sec. 30129. Underride guards
    ``(a) Rear Underride Guards.--
            ``(1) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
        enactment of this section, the Secretary shall issue a final 
        rule to require the installation of rear underride guards that 
        meet the performance standards described in paragraph (3) on--
                    ``(A) any trailer with a gross vehicle weight 
                rating of 10,000 pounds or more that is manufactured on 
                or after the effective date of the rule;
                    ``(B) any semi-trailer with a gross vehicle weight 
                rating of 10,000 pounds or more that is manufactured on 
                or after the effective date of the rule; and
                    ``(C) any single unit truck--
                            ``(i) the bottom of the carriage of which 
                        is greater than 22 inches above the ground;
                            ``(ii) with a gross vehicle weight rating 
                        of 10,000 pounds or more; and
                            ``(iii) that is manufactured on or after 
                        the effective date of the rule.
            ``(2) Retro-fit requirements.--Not later than 2 years after 
        the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall 
        issue a final rule requiring the installation of rear underride 
        guards that meet the performance standards described in 
        paragraph (3) on--
                    ``(A) any trailer with a gross vehicle weight 
                rating of 10,000 pounds or more that is manufactured 
                before the effective date of the rule under paragraph 
                (1);
                    ``(B) any semi-trailer with a gross vehicle weight 
                rating of 10,000 pounds or more that is manufactured 
                before the effective date of the rule under paragraph 
                (1); and
                    ``(C) any single unit truck--
                            ``(i) the bottom of the carriage of which 
                        is greater than 22 inches above the ground;
                            ``(ii) with a gross vehicle weight rating 
                        of 10,000 pounds or more; and
                            ``(iii) that is manufactured before the 
                        effective date of the rule under paragraph (1).
            ``(3) Performance standards.--A rear underride guard shall 
        be considered to meet the performance standard referred to in 
        paragraphs (1) and (2) if the rear underride guard is able to 
        prevent intrusion from the body or frame of a vehicle described 
        in paragraph (1) or (2), as applicable, into the passenger 
        compartment of a passenger motor vehicle that contacts the 
        guard while traveling at 35 miles per hour, as verified through 
        crash testing while attached to a trailer, after--
                    ``(A) an impact in which the passenger vehicle 
                impacts the center of the rear of the trailer, semi-
                trailer, or single unit truck;
                    ``(B) an impact in which 50 percent of the width of 
                the passenger vehicle overlaps the rear of the trailer, 
                semi-trailer, or single unit truck; and
                    ``(C) an impact in which 30 percent of the width of 
                the passenger vehicle overlaps the rear of the trailer, 
                semi-trailer, or single unit truck.
            ``(4) Compliance dates.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), compliance with each of the rules 
                issued by the Secretary under paragraphs (1) and (2) 
                shall be required beginning 1 year after the date on 
                which the final rule is published in the Federal 
                Register.
                    ``(B) Phase-in.--The Secretary may permit a phase-
                in period (not to exceed 2 years) for the installation 
                of rear underride guards on trailers, semi-trailers, 
                and single unit trucks described in paragraph (2).
    ``(b) Side Underride Guards.--
            ``(1) In general.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
        enactment of this section, the Secretary shall issue a final 
        rule requiring the installation of side underride guards that 
        meet the performance standards described in paragraph (3) on--
                    ``(A) any trailer with a gross vehicle weight 
                rating of 10,000 pounds or more that is manufactured on 
                or after the effective date of the rule;
                    ``(B) any semi-trailer with a gross vehicle weight 
                rating of 10,000 pounds or more that is manufactured on 
                or after the effective date of the rule; and
                    ``(C) any single unit truck--
                            ``(i) the bottom of the carriage of which 
                        is greater than 22 inches above the ground;
                            ``(ii) with a gross vehicle weight rating 
                        of 10,000 pounds or more; and
                            ``(iii) that is manufactured on or after 
                        the effective date of the rule.
            ``(2) Retro-fit requirements.--Not later than 2 years after 
        the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall 
        issue a final rule requiring the installation of side underride 
        guards that meet the performance standards described in 
        paragraph (3) on--
                    ``(A) any trailer with a gross vehicle weight 
                rating of 10,000 pounds or more that is manufactured 
                before the effective date of the rule required by 
                paragraph (1);
                    ``(B) any semi-trailer with a gross vehicle weight 
                rating of 10,000 pounds or more that is manufactured 
                before the effective date of the rule required by 
                paragraph (1); and
                    ``(C) any single unit truck--
                            ``(i) the bottom of the carriage of which 
                        is greater than 22 inches above the ground;
                            ``(ii) with a gross vehicle weight rating 
                        of 10,000 pounds or more; and
                            ``(iii) that is manufactured before the 
                        effective date of the rule required by 
                        paragraph (1).
            ``(3) Performance standards.--A side underride guard shall 
        be considered to meet the performance standards referred to in 
        paragraphs (1) and (2) if the side underride guard is able to 
        prevent intrusion from the body or frame of a vehicle described 
        in paragraph (1) or (2), as applicable, into the passenger 
        compartment of a passenger motor vehicle that contacts the 
        guard while traveling 35 miles per hour at any angle between 10 
        degrees and 90 degrees.
            ``(4) Compliance dates.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), compliance with each of the rules 
                issued by the Secretary under paragraphs (1) and (2) 
                shall be required beginning on the date that is 1 year 
                after the respective issuance date of each rule.
                    ``(B) Phase-in.--The Secretary may permit a phase-
                in period, not to exceed 3 years, for the installation 
                of side underride guards on trailers, semi-trailers, 
                and single unit trucks described in paragraph (2).
    ``(c) Front Underride Guards.--
            ``(1) In general.--Not later than 2 years after the date of 
        enactment of this section, the Secretary shall issue a final 
        rule requiring the installation of front underride guards on--
                    ``(A) any trailer with a gross vehicle weight 
                rating of 10,000 pounds or more that is manufactured on 
                or after the effective date of the rule;
                    ``(B) any semi-trailer with a gross vehicle weight 
                rating of 10,000 pounds or more that is manufactured on 
                or after the effective date of the rule; and
                    ``(C) any single unit truck--
                            ``(i) the bottom of the carriage of which 
                        is greater than 22 inches above the ground;
                            ``(ii) with a gross vehicle weight rating 
                        of 10,000 pounds or more; and
                            ``(iii) that is manufactured on or after 
                        the effective date of the rule.
            ``(2) Retrofit requirements.--Not later than 3 years after 
        the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall 
        issue a rule requiring the installation of front underride 
        guards on--
                    ``(A) any trailer with a gross vehicle weight 
                rating of 10,000 pounds or more that is manufactured 
                before the effective date of the rule under paragraph 
                (1);
                    ``(B) any semi-trailer with a gross vehicle weight 
                rating of 10,000 pounds or more that is manufactured 
                before the effective date of the rule under paragraph 
                (1); and
                    ``(C) any single unit truck--
                            ``(i) the bottom of the carriage of which 
                        is greater than 22 inches above the ground;
                            ``(ii) with a gross vehicle weight rating 
                        of 10,000 pounds or more; and
                            ``(iii) that is manufactured before the 
                        effective date of the rule under paragraph (1).
            ``(3) Compliance dates.--
                    ``(A) In general.--Except as provided in 
                subparagraph (B), compliance with each of the rules 
                issued by the Secretary under paragraphs (1) and (2) 
                shall be required beginning on the date that is 1 year 
                after the respective issuance date of each rule.
                    ``(B) Phase-in.--The Secretary may permit a phase-
                in period (not to exceed 3 years) for the installation 
                of front underride guards on vehicles described in 
                paragraph (2).
            ``(4) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
        enactment of this section, the Secretary shall--
                    ``(A) complete research on equipping the vehicles 
                described in paragraphs (1) and (2) with a front 
                underride guard to prevent trucks from overriding the 
                passenger vehicle; and
                    ``(B) submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, 
                and Transportation of the Senate and the Committees on 
                Transportation and Infrastructure and Energy and 
                Commerce of the House of Representatives a report on 
                the research described in subparagraph (A).
    ``(d) Inspection and Repair Requirements.--
            ``(1) Post-accident inspections.--To ensure that all 
        trailers, semi-trailers, and single unit trucks are maintained 
        in safe and proper operating condition at all times, the 
        Secretary shall require that any trailer, semi-trailer, or 
        single unit truck involved in an accident (as defined in 
        section 390.5 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (or a 
        successor regulation)) undergo and pass an inspection described 
        in appendix G to subchapter B of chapter III of title 49, Code 
        of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations), to certify 
        that all components of the trailer, semi-trailer, or single 
        unit truck, as applicable, are in safe and proper operating 
        condition.
            ``(2) Pre-trip inspections.--The Secretary shall require 
        drivers--
                    ``(A) to conduct a pre-trip inspection of the 
                comprehensive underride protection system required 
                under this section on their trailer, semi-trailer, or 
                single unit truck--
                            ``(i) to identify--
                                    ``(I) any metal perforated by rust 
                                or corrosion that compromises 
                                structural integrity;
                                    ``(II) cracked welds;
                                    ``(III) cracked or fractured 
                                vertical members;
                                    ``(IV) cuts and tears in any 
                                underride guard; and
                                    ``(V) missing fasteners and loose 
                                fasteners; and
                            ``(ii) to ensure the dimensional integrity 
                        of those guards;
                    ``(B) to include the results of the inspection 
                described in subparagraph (A) in the driver vehicle 
                inspection report; and
                    ``(C) to complete any necessary repairs to, or 
                replacement of, the underride protection system before 
                the vehicle is operated.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The chapter analysis for chapter 301 of 
title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking the item relating 
to section 30128 and inserting the following:

``30128. Vehicle rollover prevention and crash mitigation.
``30129. Underride guards.''.
    (c) Rulemakings.--The Secretary of Transportation shall amend--
            (1) sections 396.11 and 396.13 of title 49, Code of Federal 
        Regulations, in accordance with section 30129(d)(2) of title 
        49, United States Code (as added by subsection (a));
            (2) section 396.17 of title 49, Code of Federal 
        Regulations, to include a requirement that motor carriers and 
        intermodal equipment providers include an inspection of the 
        comprehensive underride protection system (as defined in 
        section 30102(a) of title 49, United States Code) of the 
        commercial motor vehicle in a periodic inspection required 
        under section 396.17 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations;
            (3) section 392.7 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, 
        to include the comprehensive underride protection system (as 
        defined in section 30102(a) of title 49, United States Code) in 
        the list of parts and accessories and components required to be 
        in good working order under each of subsections (a) and (b) of 
        section 392.7 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations; and
            (4) appendix G to subchapter B of chapter III of title 49, 
        Code of Federal Regulations--
                    (A) by redesignating paragraphs 6 (relating to safe 
                loading) through 14 (relating to motorcoach seats) as 
                paragraphs 7 through 15, respectively; and
                    (B) by inserting after paragraph 5 (relating to 
                lighting devices) the following:
            ``6. Rear impact guards and rear end protection.--Any 
        trailer or semitrailer required under section 393.86 to be 
        equipped with a rear impact guard or rear end protection--
                    ``(A) that does not meet the requirements under 
                section 393.86;
                    ``(B) that--
                            ``(i) is missing; or
                            ``(ii) has--
                                    ``(I) any metal perforated by rust 
                                or corrosion that compromises 
                                structural integrity;
                                    ``(II) a cracked weld;
                                    ``(III) a cracked or fractured 
                                vertical member;
                                    ``(IV) a cut or tear in any 
                                underride guard component; or
                                    ``(V) a missing fastener or a loose 
                                fastener; or
                    ``(C) for which the dimensional integrity of the 
                guard or protection is compromised.''.

SEC. 5. RESEARCH AND PERIODIC REVIEW OF UNDERRIDE GUARD STANDARDS.

    (a) Request for Proposals.--As soon as practicable, the Secretary 
of Transportation shall issue a Request for Proposals for the design of 
2 high-capacity rear underride barrier prototypes of a generic guard 
(with energy absorption and without energy absorption) to prevent 
underride crashes and protect motor vehicle passengers against severe 
injury at crash speeds of up to 65 miles per hour.
    (b) Evaluation.--The Secretary shall--
            (1) evaluate the proposals received in response to the 
        Request for Proposals issued pursuant to subsection (a); and
            (2) update the underride guard standards under section 
        30129 of title 49, United States Code (as added by section 
        4(a)), as appropriate, to provide the best underride protection 
        that is technologically feasible.
    (c) Periodic Reviews.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 5 years after the underride 
        guard standards are updated pursuant to subsection (b)(2), and 
        every 5 years thereafter, the Secretary shall--
                    (A) conduct a review of underride guard standards 
                to evaluate the need for changes in response to 
                advancements in technology; and
                    (B) update the standards accordingly.
            (2) Report.--After each review conducted under this 
        section, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on 
        Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the 
        Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure and Energy and 
        Commerce of the House of Representatives a report on the 
        results of the review.

SEC. 6. COMMITTEE ON UNDERRIDE PROTECTION.

    (a) Establishment.--The Secretary of Transportation shall establish 
the Committee on Underride Protection (referred to in this section as 
the ``Committee'') to oversee the ongoing underride rulemaking process.
    (b) Representation.--The Committee shall be composed of--
            (1) 1 representative of truck manufacturers;
            (2) 1 representative of trailer manufacturers;
            (3) 1 roadside inspector;
            (4) 1 motor vehicle engineer, who shall be a technician who 
        works on motor vehicle safety improvements;
            (5) 1 motor vehicle crash reconstructionist;
            (6) 2 representatives of consumer-oriented traffic safety 
        organizations;
            (7) 1 representative of the truck and auto insurance 
        industry;
            (8) 1 law enforcement crash investigator;
            (9) 1 emergency medical service provider;
            (10) 1 public health or injury prevention professional; and
            (11) at least 4 people whose families have been impacted by 
        an underride crash.
    (c) Meetings.--The Committee shall meet--
            (1) until the final rules have been issued pursuant to 
        section 30129 of title 49, United States Code (as added by 
        section 4(a))--
                    (A) monthly, via conference call; and
                    (B) quarterly, in person, at the Department of 
                Transportation headquarters; and
            (2) subsequent to the issuance of the final rules described 
        in paragraph (1), annually, at the Department of Transportation 
        headquarters, to assess the status of underride crash 
        protection.
    (d) Annual Report.--The Committee shall submit an annual report to 
the appropriate congressional committees that describes the progress 
made by the Secretary of Transportation in meeting the rulemaking 
deadlines set forth in section 30129 of title 49, United States Code 
(as added by section 4(a)).

SEC. 7. PUBLICATION OF VICTIMS OF TRUCK UNDERRIDE CRASHES.

    The Secretary of Transportation shall--
            (1) publish data on victims of truck underride crashes on a 
        publicly accessible website; and
            (2) update the data described in paragraph (1) not less 
        frequently than quarterly.
                                 <all>

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