Chuck Schumer, the United States Senator for New York, has recently published an open letter and called for a federal investigation into a problem where he sees bad GPS being responsible for truck accidents in the state. He is asking that the Federal Department of Transportation conducts a full investigation into the rising numbers of commercial vehicles hitting into low bridges. It is his belief that this is being primarily caused by misused GPS navigation devices.
The reason why this has become such a big issue is relates to a history lesson. Eighty years ago Robert Moses, the legendary urban planner, had a vision of New York which entailed New York state parkways with rules against commercial vehicles using them. As a result, much of the road infrastructure in New York was built with low hanging bridges that would only accommodate smaller cars. With the advent of the political “New Deal” and the rise in popularity in GPS and satellite navigation this is now posing problems.
According to Schumer’s open letter, he says that trucks and heavy vehicles have crashed into overpasses on average two hundred times a year, every year, since 2005. He believes that GPS has contributed to around 80% of these accidents. He now wants a set of GPS standards developed to help stop this happening and is asking the US Department of Transportation to look into the issue.
Chuck Schumer was quoted as saying:
“These accidents are frequent, costly, dangerous and entirely avoidable. All the information we need to prevent these accidents is available, all we have to do is make sure it gets into the hands of the truck. If we have the technology to send a truck to Mars, we have the technology to prevent trucks from crashing into bridges here in Long Island.”
The crux of the issue is that many GPS devices still don’t tend to make the differentiation between trucks and passenger vehicles when plotting routes. This means that truck drivers can be navigated towards a bridge that is too low for them to drive through.
Schumer also says that the State of New York State has already spent $3 million US Dollars on driver education as well as over three hundred new bridge warning signs recently, but none of this has made a difference so far. It will be interesting to see how this request goes and we will follow the story up on GPS Bites as soon as we hear of any developments.
You can read Chuck Schumer’s plea on his website. Click here to read the press release in full.
The Garmin Dezl – Trucking GPS with Bridge Warnings
There are some truck-friendly and specialist designed GPS devices on the market such as the Garmin Dezl range, but many cheaper GPS devices do not have trucking friendly navigation functions built-in. The Garmin Dezl will show you the route and will plot the directions so the driver can avoid low bridges.
Want to Know More? Please click here for the GPS Bites’ Top Ten List of GPS Mistakes that we published earlier in the year.