Rhode Island handing out $3,000 fines on Pawtucket bridge

| Friday, August 07, 2009

Truckers continue to get busted crossing a weight-limited bridge in Providence, RI, and the fines aren’t cheap: $3,000 for an offense and up to $5,000 for a repeat offender.

The weight restriction on the Interstate 95 bridge over the Pawtucket River is 18 tons, down from 22 tons following an evaluation in 2008.

It’s obvious that many people aren’t getting the word. The state collected more than $3 million in fines during the first 16 months of the posting, according to the The Providence Journal.

Land Line has heard from truckers and company owners since then who have been on the losing end.

Truckers have their theories.

“This has been going on since 2007. They’ve been looking for ways to finance their bridge, and somebody said, “Let’s get truck drivers to pay for it,’” said trucking company owner Rick Primeau of Laval, Quebec.

One of Primeau’s drivers received a fine that the company vows to fight in court.

“An honest trucker that makes an honest mistake and is inundated with signs and distractions doesn’t deserve a $3,000 fine,” Primeau told Land Line.

Rhode Island Department of Transportation officials say the bridge is adequately marked with signs. A spokesman said in May that he was surprised at the number of citations being handed out.

The state is working on replacing the bridge in addition to another weight-limited bridge in the region. The $100 million replacement of the Pawtucket River bridge is scheduled to begin next spring.

In the meantime, be warned; $3,000 is a lot of money.

– By David Tanner, staff writer
david_tanner@landlinemag.com

See related articles:
Rhode Island lowers truck weight limit on two bridges
Rhode Island bridge restriction has truckers in fits

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