New Delaware law permits use of truck height monitoring systems

September 26, 2019

Keith Goble

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A new law in Delaware permits communities around the state to cameras and height monitoring systems to capture images of vehicles whose heights exceed posted size limits.

Gov. John Carney has signed into law a bill that permits the state and local governments to install and use the vehicle height monitoring systems.

Previously SB131, the new law is patterned after Maryland’s vehicle height monitoring system for the city of Baltimore.

The Delaware Department of Transportation first is required to conduct an initial identification of potential locations for vehicle height monitoring systems, and an analysis of the worthiness for the systems at each location.

During a recent 10-year period, state DOT figures show the most likely locales for bridge strikes are the Casho Mill and North Chapel Street bridges in Newark. The two bridges account for nearly half of all bridge strikes in the state.

Newark officials acknowledge that many bridge strikes in the city are the result of people driving rental trucks.

After the highway agency completes its analysis, state officials could install height monitoring systems on state-maintained roads, and a county or municipality could adopt an ordinance to use the devices on locally maintained roads.

Responsibility and punishment

Local governments using a vehicle height monitoring system must follow set rules for violators.

First-time offenders would receive a warning notice in the mail. Repeat offenders would receive $250 citations. Subsequent offenses would result in $500 fines.

An employer would be responsible for bridge strikes that occur in a vehicle they own.

City of Baltimore’s program

The city of Baltimore employs enforcement cameras to help make sure trucks stay off restricted highways in 12 locations.

Trucks are restricted on various roadways around the city. Generally, the height of a vehicle and its load cannot exceed 13 feet and 6 inches.

The Maryland law authorizes the city of Baltimore to use vehicle height monitoring systems on highways to snap photos of trucks in violation of the time restriction.

Trucks found in violation could face fines of up to $250.

Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.