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Tractor-Trailer Hits Overpass On Hutch; Lawmaker Calls For Better Safety Measures

Tractor-Trailer After Collision On Hutch Dec. 3, 2012 (credit: Paul Murnane/WCBS 880)

Tractor-Trailer After Collision On Hutch Dec. 3, 2012 (credit: Paul Murnane/WCBS 880)

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PELHAM, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A tractor-trailer collided with an overpass on the Hutchinson River Parkway in Pelham Monday morning.

The incident is believed to be the first since ‘Low Bridge – No Truck’ warnings were painted on the roadway surface, reigniting the debate over whether more needs to be done to keep trucks off of parkways.

WCBS 880′s Paul Murnane reports


The tractor-trailer was badly damaged in the crash, which happened just beyond where the Hutch goes under East 3rd Street, WCBS 880′s Paul Murnane reported.

The driver from California told police that he followed his GPS onto the Hutchinson River Parkway from Interstate 95, Murnane reported.

“The DOT took a step in the right direction by painting markers on the roadways, but clearly today’s incident demonstrates what many of us were saying when they painted these, that it was a step in the right direction, but it was not going to solve the problem,” State Assemblyman Tom Abinanti told WCBS 880′s Paul Murnane.

The assemblyman has lobbied for better safety measures to keep trucks off state parkways for years.

“To put some type of a physical barrier across the entrance and they hit it, they know they’re in danger, they know they’re in the wrong place,” Abinanti said.

At the crash site, a member of the clean-up crew said in a contest between a truck and a bridge, the bridge wins, Murnane reported.

The incident comes five weeks after Long Island State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo held a hearing on the issue.

In the fall, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer called for national standards for GPS devices in response to a growing problem of trucks striking low bridge underpasses.

At a press conference on the issue on Sept. 24, Schumer said trucks have increasingly been directed onto roads where they are not allowed by the devices.

The problem can be corrected by programming GPS devices for trucks only, Schumer said.

According to the New York State Department of Transportation, there have been about 200 bridge strikes each year since 2005.

What do you think should be done, if anything, to keep trucks off parkways across New York State? Sound off in the comments section below…