MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - On April 11 a Texas House bill passed targeting bridge and overpass strikes by trucks.
“We’ve always taught the students that whoever is behind the wheel is behind the actions of the truck and that’s the way it should be,” said Midland College Truck Driver Instructor Bryan Alridge.
It’s common for most people to have that same demeanor towards reoccurring bridge hits, including his students that are behind the wheel practicing almost every day.
“We know our clearance on our trucks which are 13 ft and 6 inches. And when you approach a bridge, you know if you can fit under it or not,” said truck driver student, Michelle Gutierrez.
13 foot 6 inches is the standard height for most trucks, and if a truck driver’s load exceeds that, it’s the driver’s responsibility to reach out for a permit and new route that works with their load.
“It just shows that they’re not paying attention or they just don’t know their clearance,” said Gutierrez.
If this new bill is finalized and passed in the Senate, it would hold truck drivers and their employers completely liable for damages to the bridge or overpass. It even includes the possible charge of a misdemeanor crime.