NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez have announced that the city will begin its first-in-the-nation automated enforcement program targeting overweight trucks on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) this month.
“As the BQE faces well documented structural challenges, this cutting-edge new tool will help the city protect the existing roadway for all users, including trucks within the legal limit, as well as community members — helping to keep the roadway safe as the Adams administration pursues an accelerated effort to re-envision and redesign the BQE,” a news release stated.
Under the new automated enforcement program, advanced weigh-in-motion (WIM) sensors will determine the weight of a given vehicle on the city-owned portions of the BQE and sync with license plate cameras to issue citations to those found to be in violation of weight limits outlined in state and federal law.
The new program will kick off for Queens-bound traffic with a 90-day warning period beginning on Aug. 10, then, beginning Nov. 8, overweight trucks will be subject to a $650 fine per violation.
Infrastructure will be installed for Staten-Island bound traffic this year, with the same 90-day warning period taking place before violations are issued.
“New York City is leading the country in protecting and reimagining our critical infrastructure, and this first-in-the-nation weigh-in-motion program will be a critical tool not only to protect the roadway but also to support our aggressive efforts to re-envision a safer and greener BQE,” Adams said. “The BQE is a critical driver of our entire region’s economy, and we will enforce the law to keep our city’s recovery moving full speed ahead. I want to thank Governor Hochul, Senator Gounardes, and Assemblymember Simon for their partnership on this legislation.”
Rodriguez said that overweight trucks cause wear and tear that requires costly maintenance, reducing the lifespans of the city’s roads and bridges.
“We need to keep overweight trucks off our streets,” Rodriguez added.
DOT is partnering with the trucking industry to educate truck operators about the new automated weight limit enforcement, with the goal of preventing overweight vehicles from ending up on the city’s roadways in the first place, according to the news release.
DOT is also working with the NYPD and other partners to identify and target enforcement along alternative corridors that overweight trucks may try to use as an alternative.
“We must do everything we can to keep the BQE triple cantilever functional and safe, including the removal of illegal, overweight trucks,” said New York City Councilmember Lincoln Restler. “I proudly spearheaded approval of the home rule message through the City Council. And with the governor signing this legislation sponsored by Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon and Senator Andrew Gounardes, I look forward to the New York City Department of Transportation swiftly implementing automated enforcement against dangerous trucks in both directions of the BQE.”
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