New York to Begin Testing Over-Height Vehicle Detection Systems

According to a press release from New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s office, construction is almost complete on a project that will use an infrared system to detect over-height vehicles.  The systems will be used at three entrances to the Northern State Parkway in Long Island and will be expanded to include locations on the Southern State Parkway and parkways in New York City and  Westchester County.

The over-height vehicle detection systems utilizes infrared beams to detect over-height vehicles that illegally enter the parkway rams.  Over-height vehicles will trigger “large, vibrant electronic message signs” that will alert drivers to pull over and call New York State Police for assistance.  In addition, the system will send an automatic alert to  NYSDOT’s INFORM Traffic Management Center, where the State Police will be notified. The systems also include cameras that will allow INFORM to monitor each detection system.

“With this innovative technology, New York State is enhancing traffic safety, protecting our highway infrastructure and helping to save lives,” Governor Cuomo said. “Accidents involving over-height vehicles and our bridges are dangerous and can cause significant disruption to other drivers, which is why our administration is getting out in front of the problem with this new detection system. We will continue to work with local governments, truckers, GPS providers and law enforcement to stop bridge strikes and make our roads safer for everyone who travels them.”

The system was developed by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), and the project is part of a $5 million pilot program to prevent bridge strikes.

In September 2012, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said that GPS systems are to blame for more than 200 bridge strikes by trucks over the last two years. 

The systems are being installed at the following locations:

* NY Route 106/107 north ramp to Northern State Parkway westbound in Hicksville;

* NY 135/Oyster Bay Expressway north ramp to the Northern State Parkway west in Plainview;

* Long Island Expressway east Exit 38 ramp to Northern State Parkway east in Roslyn Heights.