The authorities in New York are getting serious about ending bridge strikes. In a weeklong enforcement period in November, police stopped 196 commercial trucks and issued 50 tickets — all with the goal of keeping commercial vehicles from ending up on roads where they can’t safely clear the overpasses or bridges.
The effort to eliminate bridge strikes has been an ongoing focus of a partnership between the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT), the State Police (NYSP) and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) for some time — and it is likely to continue.
Why are bridge strikes so problematic?
Bridge strikes are terribly destructive. Aside from the danger posed to the trucker, they cause structural damage to the highways and roads that can cost millions to repair. They can also lead to serious accidents and injuries to other cars on the road, as well as significant traffic congestion.
Bridge strikes are also completely preventable. In New York, commercial vehicles are banned from driving on parkways and are required to use commercial-grade navigational devices so that they can avoid problematic areas. However, out-of-state drivers don’t always realize that. Not only can that create potential danger, it can lead to tickets and hefty fines.
While the authorities are focused on educational campaigns that they hope will eliminate the problem of bridge strikes, they won’t hesitate to issue a ticket for other infractions. Of the 50 tickets recently issued, 21 were for using a parkway in violation of the law, 18 were for failing to obey a traffic control device and 11 for exceeding the posted weight limit or clearance height of a vehicle.
What should you do if you get a ticket?
If you get a ticket this holiday season in New York, it may be wise to rely on the services of an experienced attorney — especially if you were traveling here from somewhere else.