Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lawmaker Wants Stricter Rules on Trailer Hitches Posted Wednesday May 12, 2010 2 hours, 14 minutes ago

Lawmaker Wants Stricter Rules on Trailer Hitches

Posted Wednesday May 12, 2010 2 hours, 14 minutes ago

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WTAQ) - A state senator is looking into a possible bill for stricter rules on vehicles that pull trailers. Democrat Dave Hansen of Green Bay hopes to submit a proposal in the next legislative session which begins in January.

It’s in response to an accident last month on the Highway 41 expressway near Green Bay. A trailer broke from a pickup truck, struck a car, and killed its driver – UW-Green Bay student Whitney Radder of Kiel.

The truck driver was given 2 traffic citations for using sub-standard hitches, and towing with improper safety chains. No criminal charges have been filed, and authorities continue to investigate.

Media reports say Wisconsin has the 11th highest number of deaths involving cars that tow trailers. There were 377 such deaths and over 11,000 injuries between 1975 and 2008. And the state DOT said there were 117 citations issued in connection with trailer mishaps in the last 5 years.

1 comment:

Brian said...

After reading the investigative police report it appears that his vehicle and trailer were adequate to meet the standards required by our limited state law governing the use of trailers less than 3,000 lbs. His trailer was just over 2,700 lbs as I understand it. The report also seemed to suggest that it may have been a mixture of normal ware on the trailer and rough road conditions that caused the trailer to detach from the trucks hitch. It was not because of faulty construction, and as soon as the trailer was noticed to have become loose the driver immediately began to pull off the roadway. Although it is absolutely tragic what happened to the young girl, it appears that this was indeed an accident.

Also, as a side note, as one of five governor-appointed citizen representatives to the State of Wisconsin Council on Highway Safety, I would be very reluctant to recommend adjusting the current state law to regulate trailers under the 3,000 lbs weight limit. The financial inconvenience that it would place on the vast majority of Wisconsinites cannot be ignored.

Accidents happen; it is a sad but unfortunate truth. I have had two close friends involved in trailer related accidents. One died, one spent two years in a body cast. Both police investigations concluded that the incidents were accidents, I therefore, do not blame the owners or drivers of the trailers.