Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara announced the signing of a bill into law that he cosponsored in the New York State Assembly, aimed at addressing the ongoing issue of vehicle collisions with bridges. The signed bill requires the state Department of Transportation (DOT) commissioner to report vital information about bridge collision locations, post-collision repairs, and recommendations to prevent future collisions at these sites. This information will serve as a foundation for developing innovative solutions, enhancing safety features near bridges, understanding collision patterns, and devising comprehensive plans to mitigate such incidents across the state. (Chapter 575)
"Seeing large trucks colliding with low bridges in towns like Rotterdam and Glenville has been causing significant damage far too frequently. In Schenectady County, this is an issue that many residents and commuters face regularly,” stated Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, who brings his professional expertise as a civil engineer to this matter. “This crucial bill requires that the Department of Transportation commissioner provides essential data on bridge collisions across the state, enabling us to develop effective solutions. By improving safety measures near bridges and preventing future strikes, we can protect our communities statewide. The time for decisive action is now."
Santabarbara added that State Police will also conduct a weeklong bridge-strike enforcement effort this week. From 2021 through 2022, there were a combined 808 reported bridge strikes across New York State. Locally, collisions involving tractor-trailers in Schenectady County have been on the rise in recent years, with repeated incidents of trucks striking bridges such as the Campbell Road Bridge in Rotterdam and the Glenville Road Bridge in Glenville. According to Glenville Police Chief Stephen Janik, the Glenville Bridge has endured more than 100 collisions since its construction, with 22 incidents in 2021 and 12 in 2022. Each collision leads to motor vehicle accidents, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and extended hours of road closure, leaving motorists stranded.
“These collisions are not isolated to Schenectady County; they occur statewide due to various factors. Height awareness of bridges and elevated structures among drivers, both truck and passenger car operators, remains notably low. Understanding the frequency and reasons behind these collisions is crucial," stated Assemblyman Santabarbara. "This bill will provide essential data to help us find solutions. I look forward to the positive impact this legislation will have on our communities statewide."