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New Measure Will Increase Penalties On Oversized Vehicles That Could Cause Bridge Strikes

New measures will increase the penalty for vehicles violating height or weight restrictions in New York.
New measures will increase the penalty for vehicles violating height or weight restrictions in New York. Photo Credit: Google Maps

New measures are being introduced to crack down on oversized and restricted vehicles that could potentially strike an overpass on area roadways.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that his new budget includes new penalties for vehicles that violate height and weight restrictions and could cause bridge strikes.

Under the new measure, owners and operators in violation of the restrictions would face significant fines and possible suspension of vehicle registrations.

The new proposal breaks down fines and penalty by weight class: less than 10,000 pounds; between 10,000 pounds and 26,000 pounds; and over 26,000 pounds.

The fines include:

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.

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 in jail.

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.

New fines and penalties for overheight vehicles:

  • First offense - $5000 and/or 30 days in jail;
  • Second offense - $7500 and/or 60 days in jail.

In addition, for violations by vehicles exceeding 26,000 pounds, the owner's registration may be suspended for one year.

The current limitation for overweight vehicles for vehicles weighing less than 26,000 pounds, the fines and penalties:

  • First violation - $250 and/or 15 days in jail;
  • Second violation - $500 and/or 45 days in jail;
  • Third violation - $750 and/or 90 days in jail.

The current limitation of overweight vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds, the fines and penalties are:

  • First violation - $350 and/or 15 days in jail;
  • Second violation within 18 months - $700 and/or 45 days in jail;
  • Third or subsequent violation within 18 months - $1000 and/or 90 days in jail.

Current fines/penalties for overheight vehicles:

  • First violation - $200 to $500 and/or 30 days in jail;
  • Second violation - $500 to $1000 and/or 60 days in jail.

There are approximately 150 vehicle bridge hits every year across New York State according to the State Department of Transportation. Those strikes lead to road congestion, towing, cleanup and personnel needed to address these bridge hits amount to an estimated total cost of $30 million per year for the state.

"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."

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