Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Truck owner says back up warning not required

Did the recycling truck that hit an Ohio University student have the proper safety equipment? Athens MidDay reporter Tashira Tierney-Houze went to find out:

More of Tierney-Houze's interview with Roger Bail about vehicle safety requirements:

The recycling truck that hit an Ohio University student on March 30th did not have a working audible back up warning. Roger Bail, coordinator for the Athens-Hocking Joint Solid Waste Management District, says the beepers are not required.

Ohio University student, Misato Kawamura, is still recovering from injuries after being hit by the truck, and is in fair condition. Kawamura was between Ellis Hall and Alden Library when she was hit. She was treated for leg and pelvic fractures at Grant Medical Center in Columbus.

Michael F. Gilbraith, the driver of the truck will likely be charged with a misdemeanor of improper backing, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Sgt. Max Norris told The Post there is no routine way to investigate improper backing, but eyewitnesses are providing information on the accident.

Bail admits that the beeper was not working but he showed Athens MidDay federal regulations that audible backing warnings are recommended, but not required.

Athens MidDay also found a state study that showed in 2005 improper backing was responsible for 536 injury accidents including 2 fatalities (see page 10). We also found state regulations that an audible back up warning is mandatory for state school buses (see page 16).

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