WESTCHESTER, NY- Less than 72 hours after Governor Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed a bill designed to prevent large trucks from entering Westchester parkways, yet another truck caused an accident and injuries after illegally wandering onto a Westchester parkway.
On Monday evening the Governor vetoed bill number A654a/S5774a, sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Abinanti (D- Greenburgh/Mount Pleasant) and Senator Terrence Murphy (R- Yorktown), which would have required the State Department of Transportation to install physical height restrictors at entrances most often used by oversized commercial vehicles. In his veto message, the Governor argued that the State Department of Transportation has conducted an assessment and was taking sufficient measures.
“It seems ironic that within 72 hours of the Governor’s veto there was another preventable traffic accident along one of our parkways. When it comes to ensuring the safety of our roads it should be a no-brainer. We intend to continue this fight during the upcoming legislative year to make sure improvements are made,” said Senator Murphy.
“DOT has tried, tried, tried and failed,” said Assemblyman Abinanti. “Trucks are illegal on parkways. How many more bridge strikes- how many more accidents- before DOT takes effective action!
The latest large truck incident occurred at 6:45 AM today when a box truck stopped on the Hutchinson River Parkway northbound to avoid striking the King Street Bridge and was struck by a vehicle from behind. During the last ten years, over 7,000 large trucks have illegally travelled on Westchester parkways causing over 400 accidents. Since 2011 large trucks have struck parkway bridges some 250 times (see charts).
Height barriers are already used to keep large and heavy vehicles out of parking lots and other low-ceiling structures. A similar physical device stretches across the northbound lanes of the Henry Hudson Parkway in Manhattan. In addition, height restrictors have been installed at roadway entrances in the Boston area.
“Oversized trucks are a hazard to bridges and passenger vehicles on parkways” said Assemblyman Abinanti. “Must we wait for someone to get killed before the State acts?”