January 30, 2020
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces New Measure to Increase Penalties on Vehicles That Violate Height and Weight Restriction Laws is Included in FY 2021 Executive Budget

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces New Measure to...

Measure Cracks Down on Oversize and Restricted Vehicles That Can Cause Bridge Strikes

WYSIWYG

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the FY 2021 Executive Budget includes a new measure to increase penalties on vehicles that violate height and weight restrictions and can 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.

 

"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," Governor 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."

 

There are approximately 150 vehicle bridge hits every year across New York State according to the State Department of Transportation. The resulting 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. The new measure included in the Executive Budget will limit the significant financial impact overheight and overweight vehicles can have on the State highway and bridge system when they are operated in violation of law.

 

Under this proposal, the new fines and penalties are broken down by weight class: less than 10,000 pounds; between 10,000 pounds and 26,000 pounds; and over 26,000 pounds. The fines/penalties are as follows:

  • 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
  • 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/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 (or otherwise defined), 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 are as follows:

  • 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 as follows:

  • 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

 

Last year, Governor Cuomo's budget included $25 million to mitigate bridge strikes on parkways across New York State by deploying new state-of-the-art technologies and automated devices - including dual infrared beams, audible bells, and warning signs with flashing beacons - to warn drivers of immediate danger. 

 

Projects are currently being programmed to coincide with the upcoming DOT capital program, which begins this spring.

 

A $1.8 million bridge strike prevention project was also completed last year on the King Street Bridge in Westchester County. The project installed an over-height vehicle detection system and additional warnings on the low bridge, which has been struck by vehicles more than any other in the state - a total of 130 times from 2008 to 2018.

 

In 2018, DOT completed a $4.3 million project to install eight additional over-height vehicle detectors on Long Island parkways, doubling the number of these deterrent systems to 16 across Long Island.

 

At the direction of Governor Cuomo, the Department of Transportation is a member of a regional Bridge Strike Task Force, which has resulted in new signage and pavement markings on the Hutchinson River, Saw Mill River, Cross County and Sprain Brook parkways and ramp entrances, as well as overheight detectors on entrance ramps to the Hutchinson River Parkway.

0
Translations
Translations
Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office