Texas Department of Transportation officials are reminding truck drivers and trucking companies about the importance of sticking to their designated routes after a recent rise in bridge strike crashes across the Houston metro area.
Officials say that the recent rise in bridge-strike crashes may indicate that drivers and companies are looking to save some money by avoiding expensive permits and driving the routes anyway, but warn that this option could become even more expensive in the long run. TxDOT says that truck drivers occasionally attempt to ‘hit and run’ during a bridge strike crash, but say that cameras are in place to record data from the truck, allowing for officials to track down the culprit in order to recoup expenses for any damage done in the wreck.
In addition to expensive fines or damage costs, officials say that traveling under bridges without a permit could lead to objects being thrown from the truck, potentially injuring a motorist or fellow trucker, and can even cause serious damage to the bridge, leading to serious traffic backups.
“Raising a bridge is not the solution. Really the solution is making sure that trucking companies know that if they have a high load if they’re transporting something to make sure that they have the appropriate permit because that permit is going to keep them on that route and to stay on that route,” said TxDOT representative Danny Perez to CW 39.
TxDOT hopes that better training and road education for truck drivers could solve the problem, but has not suggested a plan for implementing this additional training.