TxDOT warns semi-truck drivers about the consequences of driving under low bridges on non-permitted routes

CW39

HOUSTONTexas (KIAH) TxDOT officials are warning semi-truck drivers about the dangers of driving off their designated routes and causing accidents on bridges. Officials say this is becoming more of an issue in the Houston area.

Every trucking business is required to have a permit to drive on certain highways and roads across the state. Restrictions are greater in city limits.

Roadway officials say more expensive permits allow for more weight to be carried.

Choosing to drive without a permit not only leads to fines but could cause accidents from semi-trucks trying to go under bridges that are too low. 

When this happens, it forces safety officials to close multiple lanes on a highway for several hours. More importantly, objects could fly off trucks falling on cars behind them or possibly onto a lower bridge. In this case, tax-payer money is used to repair the damage caused by the trucks.

To prevent something like this from happening, there are two detection systems on I-10 East and West. When a truck is overweight or too tall to pass under a bridge, a signal on the highway will flash. Warning truck drivers to exit the highway.

A lot of times, TxDOT says drives try to do a hit and run. However, officials warn people that there are cameras and recorded data to track down each driver to recoup expenses.

Authorities say they’re are prioritizing certain high-risk areas like downtown to start working on these issues.

“Raising a bridge is not the solution. Really the solution is making sure that trucking companies know that if they have a high load if they’re transporting something to make sure that they have the appropriate permit because that permit is going to keep them on that route and to stay on that route,” said Danny Perez.

Perez says one of the main reasons truck drivers operate without a permit is to avoid paying a higher price. However, Perez says the citations and fines can be a lot more expensive.

TxDOT says the best way to avoid this situation is to have better training and road education for truck drivers. In addition to accountability for those who don’t follow road signs and weight signals on the roads.


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