New York’s parkways do not allow commercial trucks, and for good reasons: They are narrow, winding, and littered with overpasses under which only passenger vehicles can drive.Since 2005, more than 200 trucks have crashed into those overpasses every year, and Senator Chuck Schumer blames 80 per cent of those accidents on GPS devices sending drivers where they are not permitted.
The problem, the Wall Street Journal blog Metropolis reports, is that GPS devices do not distinguish between trucks and passenger vehicles, and indicate routes that are in fact illegal and dangerous.
In a letter to Ray LaHood, Federal Department of Transportation Secretary, Schumer requested a full investigation of the problem and the consideration of “new federal standards for the use of GPS technology in commercial truck travel.”
According to Schumer, New York State has spent $3 million for driver education efforts and 300 new bridge warning signs in the past five years, to little avail.
While regulations could work, it would be in the truck companies’ best interest to act to solve the problem on their own, without waiting for federal action. Vehicle-overpass collisions cause huge damage to trucks and infrastructure, including $4.1 million in repairs on the Long Island Expressway alone.
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