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Boom goes the box truck

At 3:25 p.m., State Police reported that Soldiers Field Road in Allston was shut inbound at North Harvard thanks to another box truck driver thinking he could squeeze under a bridge, only it turns out he couldn't.

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Do the drivers who do this pay damages, have license suspended, pay fines, or what? Distracted and negligent, ridiculously costly driving at its finest. We never hear anything about the consequences. Are there any besides embarrassment?

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though that is not a penalty that the state can directly levy.

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If the businesses which employe these drivers aren't giving them proper GPS units and instructions and telling them, "Use your phone", they are as much to blame.

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The citations are probably sitting, unacted on, in boxes somewhere in the basement of the Registry headquarters.

For commercial drivers, the penalties would hopefully be severe, as Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDLs) are regulated by the Federal government. Of course, that assumes that the state that issued the license gets notified by Massachusetts, which hasn't exactly been happening.

For rental trucks such as U-Haul, Ryder, and so on, the person who rented the truck probably owes the rental company a pretty penny in damages, which probably aren't covered by any sort of insurance. But those drivers don't have CDLs, so any regulatory penalties would be even harder to enforce.

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You mean damages to the truck? Based on my extensive legal expertise derived from watching Judge Judy, no -- the employer is stuck with that. Likewise, any damage to the bridge would be charged to the employer.

While the state has no direct control over the driver's employment, it can yank his license, which would make him unemployable as a truck driver. Will it do that? Judge Judy hasn't told me.

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You do know that on Judge Judy, it's Judge Judy who pays all the damages? That's the incentive for going on the show.

But to be really "Judge Judy" about it, I don't think it would be a stretch to sue to the state for neglecting to adequately warn drivers about the overheight hazard on the roadways. You present a list of all the truck/bridge collisions that have happened since 1630 (when Boston was invented), and argue to Judy that the state is fully aware of how often collisions have happened, and will continue happen, without making a serious effort to improve the situation.

If kids at a playground were knocking themselves silly on equipment as often as tricks hit bridges along the river roads, then you know the playground owners would have been sued into bankruptcy by now.

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A u-haul rental agreement will tell you this. If you crack corner on a tree branch or tear open the roof on an underpass, the owner of the truck or whoever is responsible for the rental/lease is 100% liable for the truck repairs. Not cheap I am sure.

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"SafeMove Plus" covers storrowing and potholes.

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