New York launches week-long trucker crackdown to stop bridge strikes

On Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a multi-pronged campaign to reduce the number of CMVs that crash into low bridges within the state.

Cuomo says that from Monday, November 9, through Sunday, November 15, the New York State Police, the New York State Department of Transportation, and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, will conduct enforcement activities intended to curb bridge strikes.

“As part of the enforcement effort, State Troopers will focus active patrols in areas in each Troop where there have been documented bridge strikes by large commercial vehicles. These bridge strikes are most likely to occur on roadways with low railroad bridges, and on New York State Parkways. Commercial trucks are banned on parkways, but operators guided by consumer-grade GPS devices can end up on parkways, and when that occurs a bridge strike is inevitable. Consumer GPS devices to do not include information about low bridges, truck drivers are required to instead use commercial-grade GPS systems which provide details about low bridges and restricted routes,” Cuomo’s office said.

State officials will also be distributing educational materials at truck stops and truck rental facilities in hopes of stopping bridge strikes.

State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett said, “Bridge strikes continue to be a problem across the state, endangering the safety of motorists, disputing traffic and causing damage. These targeted patrols are part of an effort with our partners at DOT and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee to raise awareness about this issue and reduce and eventually eliminate bridge strikes statewide.”

In addition to the week of CMV enforcement, Cuomo also announced the completion of a project to replace the Old State Road Bridge over the NYS Thruway (I-90) in Albany County. The bridge, which is located between Exit 24 (Albany – I-87) and Exit 25 (Schenectady – I-890) has been hit by “numerous” over-height trucks over the past several years, Cuomo says.

The new bridge features a clearance height of 16 feet, 6 inches, which officials say should prevent additional strikes.

Officials say that there are 220 bridge strikes per year statewide in New York, and there have been more than 1,100 bridge strikes in the state since 2015.