A private sanitation truck fatally struck a bicyclist in Long Island City last month (RLJR News)

Around 240 of the city's trucks will soon be outfitted with protective side guards intended to protect pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists in the event of a collision, Mayor De Blasio announced today.

The guards, which span the side of the truck from the front to rear wheel, are intended to protect anyone unfortunate enough to be hit by a truck from becoming trapped underneath it, ostensibly decreasing the odds of fatality. According to a press release from the mayor's office, NYC trucks comprise only 3.6 percent of vehicles on the road, but collisions with trucks account for 12.3 percent of pedestrian fatalities and 32 percent of cyclist fatalities.

The city, working with DOT and a private contractor, identified 4,734 trucks eligible to receive the side guards, though only 240 will get them during the initial pilot this year. If the program proves successful, it could potentially be expanded to include all trucks in the city's fleet.

“We are committed to using every tool in our box—enforcement, education, and engineering —to save lives and make our streets safer,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Installing side guards on our City trucks will help prevent fatal collisions.”

Trucks under 10,000 pounds are exempt, as are street sweepers, fire engines and car carriers.

Similar devices have been added to trucks in various other cities across the country, like Boston and Portland. In the UK, side guards are credited with reducing fatalities and severe injuries in side impacts by 61 percent for bicyclists and 20 percent for pedestrians.