Governor Cuomo Directs The Dept. Of Financial Services To Issue Guidance And Take Action To Protect Drivers On NY Roadways

DFS Urges Insurers to Encourage the Utilization of Commercial GPS Equipment Which Warns of Low Bridges, Overpasses and Other Hazards.

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo encourages the use of GPS to warn commercial vehicles of height restrictions on New York's parkways.

Photo by: Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

Albany, NY - April 13, 2018 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed the State Department of Financial Services to issue guidance urging insurers to encourage commercial policyholders to utilize global positioning systems that specifically warn truck drivers, bus operators, and other commercial vehicles of height restrictions on New York's parkways. DFS sent the letter today advising the agency's regulated insurers to make clear to policyholders that investing in commercial GPS equipment could potentially reduce motor vehicle collisions and result in lower insurance premiums.
"The recent bridge strike on the Southern State Parkway was serious, avoidable, and should be a wakeup call for all businesses that use buses, tractor trailers and similar vehicles," Governor Cuomo said. "I have directed DFS to take action and encourage the use of appropriate GPS equipment that will help prevent these accidents in New York, as well as the injuries and potential tragedies that come with them."
Building on New York's ongoing efforts to implement transit safeguards across the state, the Governor directed DFS to take action to help protect passengers and drivers on New York roadways. DFS is urging property/casualty insurers to examine whether the prospective policyholder, or existing policyholder should - and to what extent - utilize commercial GPS on insured vehicles. With this guidance, insurers should assist and encourage policyholders to use only commercial GPS equipment, if the equipment is in use in their vehicles at all. 
The state has incurred more than $125 million in costs over the last five years to repair damaged bridges and overpasses across New York. Between 2009 to 2015 alone, more than 700 DOT bridges and overpasses were damaged by overheight vehicles. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, GPS equipment designed for commercial use provides important information to drivers that they would not receive if using a non-commercial GPS, like low overpasses and other route restrictions.
A copy of the letter sent to insurers can be found here.
"New York motor vehicle insurers have the opportunity to be at the forefront in protecting all New Yorkers from avoidable accidents," said Superintendent Vullo. "DFS stands ready to work with our regulated motor vehicle insurers to urge them to develop and file programs and rules, in accordance with New York Insurance Law, that encourage the proper use of commercial GPS technology."