New York Sen. Charles Schumer is calling on the federal government to investigate the rising number of overpass collisions involving trucks that are led onto roads where they don't belong by GPS devices.
Schumer says he will ask the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue nationwide standards for GPS devices for commercial vehicles.
He says the GPS devices often lead trucks onto roads that forbid commercial vehicles.
He noted an increase of trucks hitting low overpasses on Long Island, in Westchester County and New York City.Two years ago, a double decker Megabus crashed into the low railroad bridge on the Onondaga Lake Parkway killing four people.
" If you are a local trucker here in Central New York, you know what highways to use . B ut if you are coming from Pennsylvania or you're coming from Ohio or you're coming from New York City, you may not know that Onondaga County has overpasses that are low. A nd when GPS sent you on those [highways] you go, and then your truck gets caught and crashes," says Schumer.
The senator said 43 bridges have been hit on Long Island parkways in 2011. He cited a 2009 study that indicated 80 percent of bridge strikes were caused by misused GPS devices.
" It creates a danger to the driver, it creates a danger to other drivers who might crash into the truck . I t creates hug e traffic backups and the state of N ew Yotk last year had to spend millions of dollars fixing up and strengthening bridges that were crashed into, " says Schumer.
(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)