SANTA CLARA COUNTY (KRON) — Those who have been pushing for more safety measures on Highway 17 in the South Bay are no doubt cheering the push for a new law that would require training for the drivers of big rig trucks.
Anyone who has ever driven Highway 17 knows the feeling when they’re alongside one of those sand trucks or big rigs.
You might be thinking, “I hope the driver of that 80,000-pound machine knows what they’re doing.”
Many do, of course, but it has taken a tragedy to get the ball rolling on a new law that should help make sure every driver is properly trained.
Back in Jul. 2014, the terrible crash led to a lawsuit.
That sparked a new push for more truck safety on Highway 17. A big-rig was northbound on Highway 17 near Lexington Reservoir that day when it lost control and plowed into 10 cars.
Traffic was backed up and people were just sitting in traffic when the big rig came barreling up from behind and could not stop.
It was one of the worst crashes in recent years.
Several people were injured.
Daniel McGuire, of Santa Cruz, who was on his way to work, was killed. His family filed a wrongful death suit and won a $9 million award against the trucking company.
Now, his parents are pushing for a new law in their son’s name, Daniel’s Law, which would require stricter safety regulations and training for all big rig drivers across California.
“The more I thought about it, the more I thought that we have to do something about this,” Daniel’s mother Gail Jean McGuire said. “We live in a community where people have to drive Highway 17 to get to work or school or the airport, and I don’t want anyone else to go through a parent’s worst nightmare.”
“It’s not about the money,” Daniel’s father Doug added. “It’s about bringing justice for Daniel. He will be smiling down on us to know that he made a difference in the lives of other people and that this sends a message that those who don’t follow the law will suffer a severe penalty.”
The plaintiff’s attorney, Robert Allard, says that Tracy-based Saini Trucking Company is now out of business and bankrupt.
He says Daniel’s Law would, among other things, require that all big-rig drivers have at least 30 hours of training behind the wheel before they hit the road.
The McGuires and their attorney expect Daniel’s Law will be signed by the governor later this year.
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