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Delaware Senate Democrats

Delaware adds new enforcement tool to crack down on unauthorized truck traffic

August 15, 2019

NEW CASTLE – Local elected officials, law enforcement, and members of the public gathered at Rose Hill Community Center on Thursday to celebrate the first step towards curbing truck traffic along Lambson Lane.

Residents there have long complained that trucks use their residential road as a shortcut to nearby warehouses and port facilities, ignoring multiple signs in the process.

Now, with the signing of Senate Bill 131, the Delaware Department of Transportation and local law enforcement will soon have a powerful new tool for enforcing the law on Lambson Lane and all around the state.

Modeled after a system recently implemented in Baltimore, the bill aims to implement technology that would ticket truck drivers who ignore posted signs. Specifically, the technology would monitor the height of passing vehicles, photograph violators, and ticket the driver or company operating the trucks. DelDOT officials say that options could include permanently emplaced height-monitoring systems or a mobile system that could be moved to where it is most needed.

First-time offenses would lead to warnings, but subsequent violations would carry penalties of $250 and then $500 per ticket.

Before the technology is implemented, the bill authorizes DelDOT to study which roads are most frequently used as illegal shortcuts. Once that study is completed, the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security will take over to find a vendor.

That process began as soon as the bill was signed and should take a little over a year.

“After years of concern by local residents, I am happy to announce that help is on the way,” said state Senator Darius Brown, D-Wilmington and prime sponsor of the bill. “SB 131 is the product of months of work alongside State Representative Frank Cooke and County Councilman Jea Street and we believe it will improve the quality of life on Lambson Lane. Most importantly, this bill shows our continued progress to build better neighborhoods along the Route 9 corridor in the second senatorial district.”

Sen. Brown joined Gov. John Carney, Rep. Frank Cooke and other government officials in addressing the crowd outside the Rose Hill Community Center. The Center is located on Lambson Lane, where staff and residents alike have had a front row seat to the truck problem. Serving over 4,000 citizens each year with programs ranging from early childcare education to senior citizen activities, many worried for years about pedestrians being struck on the road.

Advocates, who once pointed to the ineffectiveness of signs posted along the road and the high cost of assigning police officers to monitor traffic there, say that the new height-monitoring system could turn out to be a powerful tool for enforcing local traffic laws and protecting quality of life.

“For years, residents have sounded the alarm about trucks rumbling up and down Lambson Lane, presenting a danger to the people and causing damage to the road,” said Rep. Franklin Cooke, D-New Castle North, the lead House sponsor. “County and state police have done their best to address this, but they need some help. Allowing them to use vehicle height-monitoring systems to identify and ticket violators will make a real, immediate impact on roads like Lambson Lane. I’m grateful we’ve been able to pass this law, and I’m anxious to see it put to good use.”