For the last several years, the Pawtucket River Bridge in Rhode Island on Route 95 has been under construction, and the Sakonnet River Bridge on RI Route 24 and Route 138 is soon going to be replaced.
Because of the concern over each bridge’s stability, the Rhode Island Legislature has prohibited vehicles with more than two (2) axles, and/or most “combination vehicles” with more than two (2) axles per unit from driving over the bridges. R.I.G.L. § 31-25-30(a). It has also banned any vehicle weighing more than eighteen (18) tons from driving over the bridges.
Those who violate this State law are fined $3,000 for their first offense, and can be fined $5,000 for any subsequent offense. While the driver of the vehicle is fined $85 for failing to obey a traffic control device pursuant to R.I.G.L. § 31-13-4 and R.I.G.L. § 31-41.1-4, the owner of the truck is receives the larger fine. Unless the driver of the truck is also the owner, there is little chance of the $85 ticket being dismissed.
Many times, truck drivers who ignore or fail to see the large signs posted on 95-N, 95-S, 195-N, 195-S and before RI Route 24-N and Route 24-S simply quit after receiving the ticket, hoping that they can avoid having to pay their employer for the larger fine. Attorney Kate Godin has numerous several trucking companies who have had their ability to drive through the state suspended because of their drivers failing to notify the company of the court date. Kate Godin files a motion to vacate the default judgment, which, if granted, typically allows Attorney Godin to negotiate the standard arrangement of pleading to the offense in exchange for a reduction of the fine from $3,000 to $1,500 plus court costs.
By hiring an attorney to handle your axle or weight restriction case, you can avoid the expense of having to travel back to Rhode Island to attend the court date(s).
If you are a truck driver or a trucking company who has received one of these tickets, call Attorney Kate Godin immediately at (401) 274-2423 or email her at email@example.com to discuss your case.
For detour routes and more information on the restrictions, visit the RI DOT page on the bridges here.