Sen. Charles Schumer comes to Hutch to unveil new rules to curb bridge strikes
Schumer will announce the initiative with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Administrator Anne Ferro on the Mamaroneck Road overpass of the Hutchinson River Parkway. That overpass has been hit by wayward trucks at least 90 times in less than two decades.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a unit of the Department of Transportation, will roll out new rules requiring new training for truck and bus drivers on global positioning system devices. The agency also will issue safety visor cards warning commercial drivers not to rely on noncommercial GPS devices that could send eighteen-wheelers and large buses onto restricted roadways like the Hutchinson River Parkway.
Commercial GPS units are programmed not to send truck drivers onto restricted roads.
Westchester County has been a hot spot for bridge strikes.
From 2008-2011, Westchester County police recorded, on average, roughly one bridge strike a week.
A 2009 study by the New York State Department of Transportation linked misused GPS devices to 80 percent of bridge strikes in the state.
Some of New York's older highways, like the Hutchinson River Parkway, were not built to accommodate big rigs, whose height is typically 13 feet 6 inches. Commercial truck traffic also is prohibited on the Saw Mill River Parkway and the Northern State and Southern State parkways on Long Island.
A recent study by Newsday based on data from the state Transportation Department showed that bridges over the Hutchinson River Parkway have the highest number of truck strikes in the Hudson Valley.
In September, Schumer said trucks have collided with bridges more than 850 times over the past 20 years.