AUSTIN, TX (KWES) - State Representative Brooks Landgraf filed legislation designed to reduce the number of overpass strikes.
House Bill 799, authored by Landgraf, seeks to hold the owner of the vehicle liable for any damages to a bridge or overpass caused by their height.
A delinquent driver could be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to, but not exceeding the total cost of damages.
"Like so many West Texans, I'm frustrated with how frequently overpasses in the Permian Basin are being struck by oversized loads," Landgraf said. "These bridge strikes compromise highway safety, cause traffic congestion and cost taxpayers up to millions of dollars in repairs."
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2018, there were at least 82 overpass strikes across the state.
The cost of repairs for the 2018 damages exceeds more than $20 million, however, less than $3.6 million of that has been collected from the drivers and companies responsible.
"I'm determined to reduce the number of these collisions and hold the vehicle owners strictly liable for the cost of the repairs so that taxpayers aren't stuck footing the bill," Landgraf added.
The current 86th Texas legislative session will run through May 27, 2019.