AUSTIN — State Representative Brooks Landgraf's (R-Odessa) legislation aimed at reducing the number of overpass strikes due to over-height semi-trucks by holding those drivers or their employers liable for the costly damage will become Texas Law unless vetoed by the governor.
Previously, the House Transportation Committee, of which Landgraf is vice chair, unanimously passed House Bill 799 before it was passed by the Texas House and the Texas Senate. HB 799, authored by Landgraf, seeks to hold the owner of the vehicle strictly liable for any damage to a bridge or overpass caused by the height of the vehicle. The driver of the over-height vehicle could also be charged with a misdemeanor crime.
"I'm grateful to my colleagues for supporting what is clearly a common sense measure that will hold vehicle owners strictly liable for the cost of the repairs so that taxpayers aren't stuck footing the bill," Landgraf said.
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2018, there were at least 82 overpass strikes across the state. Meanwhile, over the five previous years from 2013 and 2017, there averaged just 31 overpass strikes a year.
Unless vetoed by the governor, HB 799 would take effect September 1, 2019.