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State launches campaign against bridge strikes: Will it stop trucks from hitting them?

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul announced a targeted enforcement campaign spearheaded by the State Police to combat the issue of bridge strikes by overheight vehicles across New York State.

The campaign, scheduled from now through November 11, aims to address the recurring problem, which led to 808 reported bridge strikes in the past two years.

Bridge strike in Canandaigua, New York. Photo credit: Gannett.

The initiative will focus on areas prone to such incidents, with State Police conducting patrols and coordinating with local law enforcement to avert potential strikes. In addition, Governor Hochul highlighted the importance of driver awareness, noting that bridge strikes cause not only traffic delays and public safety concerns but are also entirely preventable with proper knowledge and attention to vehicle height.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Complementing the enforcement drive, a multi-agency awareness campaign, led by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and supported by the Thruway Authority and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, will disseminate the “Check Your Height, Know It’s Right” message across social media. The educational effort will emphasize the driver’s responsibility to know their vehicle’s height and to heed warnings, as consumer GPS systems may not include bridge height information, leading to risks of collision.

In the wake of a marked increase in bridge strikes in 2023, including a severe incident that closed southbound lanes on the I-87/I-287 for 16 hours, officials have reiterated the need for vigilance among all drivers. Regulatory amendments are also being proposed, including penalties for bridge strikes, underscoring the state’s commitment to mitigating these preventable incidents through combined efforts of enforcement, education, and policy.