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Truckers Guided by GPS Said to Hit N.Y. Bridges 200 Times

Bloomberg -- The U.S. should write standards for GPS-connected devices used by truck and bus drivers to stop them from hitting low bridges after driving onto restricted roads, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said.

Truckers following faulty directions by global positioning systems devices have hit bridges in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County more than 200 times in the past two years, the New York Democrat said in a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood yesterday.

According to Transportation Department data, there were 15,000 bridge strikes by all types of vehicles in 2010, resulting in 214 deaths and 3,000 injuries.

New York isn’t the only state dealing with truck strikes. On Feb. 15, bridges were struck in four separate cities in Connecticut, according to television stat


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Submitted Sep 26, 2012 By: bar1035
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
Author Topic: Truckers Guided by GPS Said to Hit N.Y. Bridges 200 Times Back to Topics
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2012 10:03:22 PM

nokaoi: sometimes you've gotta wonder why truckers don't pay attention.
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Sep 30, 2012 10:02:32 PM

thanks for sharing. Leave one wondering, what the heck are truckers (and others who rely on GPS) thinking... or maybe it's the lack of thinking?
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LetemEatCake
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 9:36:39 PM


Interesting article Bar1035...thanks for posting!
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nokaoi2009
Champion Author Honolulu

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 1:10:23 PM

If you go to YOUTUBE and search for "crashes" and "bridges" you will find numerous videos of trucks hitting low bridges (or is it high trucks), with some bridges being hit numerous times. I guess drivers don't know how tall their trucks are, or they are not paying attention to the height signs.
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sparky808
Champion Author Honolulu

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 11:23:17 AM

Thank you for posting.
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jcdakota
Champion Author Baltimore

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 5:25:13 AM

Aren't clearances posted on or near bridges and overpasses? Doesn't anybody read any more?
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nb52
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Sep 27, 2012 4:28:52 AM

Please, no more regulations.
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ShadowACE
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 11:02:40 PM

We have a couple of roads in the Boston area that routinely remove the tops of trucks when the drivers don't pay attention to the very conspicuous signs that warn of low clearances. Storrow Drive, which runs along the Charles River seems to have "truck tops" on it's menu quite often. What I didn't see in this article that I know is often (but certainly not always) the fact in these incidents is that many of them are Average Joe driving his U-Haul Rent-a-Truck and being completely oblivious to the fact that the truck is 10 feet high. The key factor in nearly all of these cases is the DRIVER not knowing HOW TALL his truck or trailer is.

I have a fifth-wheel trailer. It is 12'3" from the pavement to the top of the air conditioner on its roof. I have a (several actually) GPS but it does NOT indicate clearances. When I'm towing that trailer it is MY responsibility to know that I need AT LEAST 12'4" and if I'm going to be comfortable I want at least 12'6" before I'll even think about trying to go there. Two years ago we towed 3100 miles in 16 days from Boston to Virginia/North Carolina/Tennessee and back. ONCE my GPS took me along a nice road through a medium size city in North Carolna where the road started down a grade that went about 80-100 yards and then through an underpass below a good size intersection of the surface roads above. I was about half way down that grade when I saw the sign that said the clearance was 11'4"...and I stopped right there. Unfortunately the road was not nearly wide enough for me to make a U-turn. Fortunately there was almost no other traffic in that part of town. My co-pilot walked back up to the top of the grade to be sure something didn't come rolling along and run into the back of the trailer and I backed up about 50-60 yards to the top of the hill where there was enough room to turn around. Then we found a different route through that part of town.

There are GPS units that DO indicate clearances and they can use that data when they plan a route for a taller vehicle. They are NOT your typical $129 units, and that's probably why a lot of the once every six month truck drivers don't have them. Any driver who's making his living driving in unfamiliar areas with a big truck should have a trucker's GPS. I do have a new set of POIs for my GPS which do indicate low clearances, Hazmat restrictions (you know you can't take an RV with propane through tunnels,) and other such concerns. It's very inexpensive, easy to use, and it is updated frequently. Is that as effective as a dedicated trucker's GPS that costs $450 or so? I'm going to guess that it is not nearly as effective, and my GPS can't use that information to determine if a route is safe for me. I have to search for hits in that POI category and see if there are any along the route I'm going to follow. So it is still MY job to avoid the problems. If I were going to travel a lot more than I do now I would have one of those fancy GPS units and let it do the work for me. It's amazing how quickly a trailer stuck under as bridge with holf of its roof torn off can ruin your entire day!
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SparkieMi
Champion Author Kalamazoo

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:52:54 PM

Drivers and Companies need to be fined and repair damages!!!!!
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Lou08
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:52:51 PM

TomTom GPS Has great software they can have warnings of too high trucks and low overheads... If register with TomTom (GPS) Truck hight and Cities register the hight of overpasses in their charge...
Wow,I can make money when I sell my great software!!! Then I can afford gasoline at stations pumps...
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kgbellman
Champion Author Ann Arbor

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:42:34 PM

GPS or not, you still need to read street signs
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vulcan96
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:40:54 PM

the ones for trucks are VERY expensive sounds like some truckers were trying to save some money
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CDMAuto
Champion Author Connecticut

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:38:43 PM

Dumb
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BeulahME
Champion Author Maine

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:38:30 PM

It would help if the truckers spoke and read in ENGLISH.

I wonder how many of the truckers could read ENGLISH? If they could they could probably read the warning signs.
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HailstormCA
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:36:30 PM

Trucking industry should pay for the development if they really want it.
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Vette1967
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:34:06 PM

Nothing some transponders and receivers can't solve.
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LilRedWagonIN
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:33:23 PM

Look through the windshield and not at the GPS.
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rawdog1313
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:32:51 PM

Doesn't anyone pay attention to what the hell they are doing anymore?
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langolera
Champion Author Akron

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:32:23 PM

ok
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rippinusoff
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:32:04 PM

pay attention
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Kawibiker
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:31:00 PM

ok
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CAroadrunner101
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:30:58 PM

oops...
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billk44077
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:30:46 PM

Ok
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BobD2009
Champion Author Long Island

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:29:44 PM

Morons.
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northeast2
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:28:25 PM

Having driven on many of NY's parkways and commuted on two of them for eight years, it amazes me that a tractor-trailer driver would fail to notice that THERE ARE NO OTHER TRUCKS ON THE ROAD!
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Captaintek
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:26:55 PM

Doesn't New York post height limit signs on their highways?
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gabfiore
Sophomore Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:26:34 PM

I agree with HawaiianGuy. Absurdity! Dang!!
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unicornpmb
Champion Author Buffalo

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:25:59 PM

One for cars and one for trucks.
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HawaiianGuy
Champion Author Idaho

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:25:17 PM

This is outrageous! As the saying goes, "If I told you to go jump over a cliff, would you?" Dang!
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Bud122CA
Champion Author California

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:22:49 PM

ANYONE who only follows GPS information is stupid
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MountedShooter
Champion Author Georgia

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:20:51 PM

Ok.
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batman2010
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:20:26 PM

imagine that
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GLCSHADOW
Champion Author Oregon

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:17:16 PM

A good gps database could easily alert to that. I'm sure it is in the works, but the liability for such a program my limit its use. Road information changes and if the database isn't updated or the driver doesn't input the right load height crashes could still happen.
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Bigwaynef
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:16:00 PM

OK that should save on the gas also...
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Hi1
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:15:38 PM

They need to know the hight off there truck.
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rtw777
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:15:30 PM

Truckers should know better.
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tco9436
Champion Author Connecticut

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:14:41 PM

no excuse, there is a actual big rig only gps system thta has been out therr for years at a cost of $250. problem is these guys don't want to spend the money and claim, " the gps made me do it" ! LOSERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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rollercoaster
All-Star Author Hartford

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:13:52 PM

why can't they have all bridges 14' or taller and put a stop to all of it !!!
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Matt G
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:13:44 PM

Ok
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tedjm1
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:13:19 PM

GPS does not inform about bridge, walk-way height. Where is the dispatcher? Those people who used to route the truckers so that such things were avoided.
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obimerrill
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:13:15 PM

Ivealso seems cases where road construction added a layer of asphalt to a road, but they didn't think to change the bridge height signs. Result...my dad hit a bridge and destroyed the million dollar oxygen tank he was hauling, which would have fit if the sign was correct.

GPS may be bad, or may not be updated if the government doesn't provid updates to the GPS services.
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PissedATthePump
All-Star Author Pennsylvania

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:12:53 PM

Schumer said: “If we have the technology to send a truck to Mars, we have the technology to prevent trucks from crashing into bridges.” The Transportation Department is reviewing Schumer’s letter and hasn’t responded, as they decide who regulates these "trucks to mars"
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Rageagainsttm
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:12:23 PM

oops
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N5EXY
Champion Author Austin

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:11:57 PM

Might the GPS be as distractive as a cell phone?
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malfrog1
Champion Author South Bend

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:11:39 PM

The hits are a result of trying to shave time and distance and very tired drivers
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Glock26
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:10:58 PM

Build the bridges a little taller for the trucks!!!
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regout
Champion Author Quebec

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:10:48 PM

They need to be punish.
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rahcat
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:09:57 PM

Read the sign regarding bridge clearance height and don't just rely on the GPS.
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joel27nc
Champion Author Raleigh

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:09:54 PM

Can't go by GPS alone!
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txkrb
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:09:45 PM

Schumer said. “If we have the technology to send a truck to Mars

Really we sent a truck to Mars, I must have missed that bit of news

Schumer said. In addition, the state has spent $3 million for 300 bridge warning signs, he said.

$10,000 per sign? Did the defense department sign that contract
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