Press Releases

November 9, 2023
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NYC DOT Begins Automated Enforcement Against Overweight Trucks on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, Releases New Data Showing 90-Day Warning Period Resulted in Sharp Decline in Overweight Trucks

Violations will be issued starting November 13, 2023

The number of overweight trucks declined 55 percent after NYC DOT began issuing warnings

New York — New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today announced the City will begin issuing violations for its first-in-the-nation automated weigh-in-motion enforcement program, targeting overweight trucks on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE). The goal of weigh-in-motion is to reduce the number of overweight trucks on the BQE to reduce wear and tear on the triple cantilever that was constructed in the mid-20th Century. The enforcement begins following a 90-day warning period that began in August. The number of overweight trucks on the BQE's triple cantilever dropped 55 percent after NYC DOT began issuing warnings to the operators of overweight trucks. During the first full week of the warning period, 344 warnings were issued to overweight vehicles and that number declined to 153 by the end of October. Beginning November 13, 2023, overweight trucks will be subject to a $650 fine per weight limit violation. Vehicles are weighed using sensors in the roadbed and documented through the use of various cameras. Currently, enforcement focuses on Queens-bound traffic, and enforcement for Staten Island-bound traffic is starting in the coming months with a 90-day warning period to follow.

Chart showing a decrease in the number of warnings issued to overweight vehicles on the BQE between August and October 2023.
Chart showing the number of warnings issued to overweight vehicles on the BQE

“New York City is leading the country in protecting and reimagining our critical infrastructure, and the early data is clear that this first-in-the-nation weigh-in-motion program is successfully protecting this roadway so we can continue aggressively working to re-envision a safer and greener BQE,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “While it is evident that our warnings are sending a message that is loud and clear, the few who are ignoring them are now on notice. The BQE is a critical driver of our entire region’s economy, and we will enforce the law to keep our city’s recovery moving full speed ahead.”

"Our new weigh-in-motion program has already proven effective in getting overweight trucks off the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and extending the lifespan of this critical infrastructure," said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. "A special thank you to Governor Hochul, State Senator Gounardes, Assembly Member Simon and Council Member Restler for their tireless advocacy passing this legislation that will serve as a model for the rest of the nation."

"New York City is leading the nation with the launch of the first-ever automated weigh-in-motion enforcement system to reduce the number of overweight trucks on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway," said DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "Overweight trucks cause wear and tear that requires costly maintenance and reduces the lifespan of our roads and bridges. We've seen a sharp decline in overweight vehicles since we began issuing warnings in August and we expect that the program will continue to remove overweight trucks from our streets. I thank Governor Kathy Hochul, Senator Andrew Gounardes, and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon for passing and enacting the legislation, and Councilmember Lincoln Restler for securing the necessary approval from the City Council, allowing New York City to leverage this critical technology to keep the BQE safe."

The new automated enforcement program on the BQE is in effect on the City-owned section of the BQE, between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street, and was authorized by the enactment of S6246/A6225, sponsored by New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes and New York State Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, and signed into law by New York Governor Kathy Hochul on July 28, 2023.

NYC DOT engaged in robust outreach with the trucking industry to educate truck operators about the launch of automated enforcement. Driving overweight trucks on city streets is against the law, and NYC DOT continues to work with the NYPD and other partners to identify and target enforcement against those vehicles across the city.

This cutting-edge new tool helps the City protect the structural integrity of the BQE as the Adams administration works to deliver a permanent, long-term fix for the City-owned section of the highway. The new program also expands the City's efforts to enforce state laws designed to protect the lifespan of roads and bridges, and it builds on ongoing targeted enforcement efforts by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) as well as DOT's track record of administering successful automated traffic enforcement programs. Additional information about truck weight limits and the weigh-in-motion program is available online.

NYC DOT is working with communities along the BQE corridor in Brooklyn on two initiatives. BQE Central will fix the City-owned structure from Atlantic Avenue to Sands Street, and BQE North and South will identify upgrades for the other, state-owned segments of the BQE corridor in Brooklyn. With federal funds newly available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Adams administration is pursuing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to upgrade the BQE for the 21st century.

"I am glad that the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) will begin enforcing fines on overweight trucks in the Queens-bound lanes of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE), and I look forward to full enforcement on both sides of the BQE in coming months" said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. "While we need to ensure that overweight trucks do not cause additional costly damage to the cantilever along the Brooklyn Heights section – and today's announcement will help to do just that – it is critical that we reimagine the BQE from top to bottom. I look forward to continued collaboration on this initiative with DOT, government partners, and community members."
"I'm glad that NYC DOT will finally be issuing violations for overweight trucks that are brazenly flouting the laws and contributing to the deterioration of the BQE. We must ensure the triple cantilever is safe for New Yorkers to use," said State Senator Andrew Gounardes. "I'm proud that WIM is working to safeguard the BQE's infrastructure and I thank my partners in government and our community for their work and support in getting this done."

"Illegally overweight trucks have caused significant damage to the BQE triple cantilever and to our environment. That's why I'm thrilled that New York will begin issuing violations through our first-in-the-nation WIM program to finally get rid of these overweight trucks and extend the useful life of the BQE," said State Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon. "I'm so relieved that we have already seen a reduction of illegal trucks during the program's warning period. Thanks to Commissioner Rodriguez for his support, to NYC DOT for implementing WIM, to my legislative partner Senator Gounardes, and to the BQE expert panel who first recommended we consider this technology."