Gov. Cuomo proposes increasing penalties for over-height vehicles by ten times the current amount

State News

NEW YORK STATE (WSYR-TV) — Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a new proposal in his 2021 Executive Budget that will help deter vehicles from hitting bridges. 

The governor’s proposal is to increase the penalties for vehicles that violate height and weight restrictions. The proposed penalties are a significant increase compared to the current penalties in place.

“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.”

Current penalties for over-height vehicles:

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

New penalties proposed by Governor Cuomo:

  • First offense – $5000 and/or 30 days in jail
  • Second offense – $7500 and/or 60 days in jail

For vehicles that violate weight restrictions, there are separate penalty levels for vehicles over 26,000 pounds compared to vehicles under the 26,000 pound limit.

Current penalties for vehicles over 26,000 pounds that violate weight restrictions:

  • 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

New proposed penalties for vehicles over 26,000 pounds that violate weight restrictions:

  • 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

Current penalties for vehicles under 26,000 pounds that violate weight restrictions:

  • 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

New penalties for vehicles between 10,000 and 26,000 pounds that violate weight restrictions:

  • 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

New penalties for vehicles under 10,000 pounds that violate weight restrictions:

  • 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

The State Department of Transportation says about 150 bridges are hit every year in New York State costing the state an estimated $30 million per year.

The Onondaga Lake Parkway railroad bridge in Liverpool has been hit multiple times in the past few years, most recently in October of 2019.

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