NY governor proposes steep increase in fines for overheight & overweight trucks

Parkway Bridge Strike

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo today unveiled his 2021 budget proposal that includes a measure designed to cut down on bridge strikes by trucks.

On Thursday, Cuomo unveiled his 2021 Executive Budget, which includes a proposal to dramatically increase fines for overweight and overheight violations for truck drivers in hopes of cutting down on bridge strikes.

The current penalty for a first time offense overheight violation is a $200 to $500 fine and/or 30 days in jail. Cuomo’s proposal would increase this fine to $5000, keeping the jail sentence the same.

“Bridge strikes at best create unacceptable and costly traffic problems with real economic consequences and at worst are a public safety hazard that put the lives of motorists and passengers alike at risk,” Cuomo said. “With these new tougher penalties, we are continuing our aggressive action to reduce the frequency of these crashes and improve the safety and reliability of our roadways.”

The complete list of proposed penalty changes offered up by Cuomo can be viewed below.

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Proposed penalties for overweight vehicles

For vehicles less than 10,000 pounds

  • First violation- $250 and/or 15 days in jail 
  • Second violation within 18 months – $500 and/or 45 days in jail 
  • Third violation within 18 months – $750 and/or 90 days in jail 

For vehicles between 10,000 and 26,000 pounds  

  • First violation – $1000 and/or 15 days in jail 
  • Second violation within 18 months – $1500 and/or 45 days in jail 
  • Third violation within 18 months – $2500 and/or 90 days 

For vehicles over 26,000 pounds  

  • First violation – $5000 and/or 15 days in jail 
  • Second violation within 18 months – $7500 and/or 45 days in jail 
  • Third violation within 18 months – $10,000 and/or 90 days in jail 

The proposal would also allow for the suspension of vehicle registration for violations involving more than 26,000 pounds.

Proposed penalties for vehicles overheight trucks

  • First offense – $5000 and/or 30 days in jail 
  • Second offense – $7500 and/or 60 days in jail 

Bridge strikes are a persistent problem that New York has already spent millions of dollars to try to combat, including a recent effort to deploy overheight vehicle detection technology that warns drivers and alerts law enforcement if a too-tall truck attempts to enter a restricted roadway like a parkway.