Starting July 1, truckers who get stuck in Smugglers Notch — a scenic, narrow, winding road in Vermont — will be subject to fines of up to $2,000 for a first offense.
Until then, truckers could face a fine of $165 for ignoring road signs that say "Tractor Trailers Prohibited'' and blinking lighted signs that alternate between "No tractor trailers'' and "Thru Notch.''
"It boggles my mind because to a certain point, they [truckers] are totally ignoring the scenery around them and not even paying attention to the road signs that are out there,'' William "Jake'" Elovirta, director of enforcement for the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, told the Associated Press.
Truck stuck in Smugglers Notch https://t.co/yMagLqohyr— BurlingtonFreePress (@bfp_news) June 2, 2016
Vermont officials say truck drivers are following their GPS and ignoring the road signs that warn them they won't be able to pass on a 5-mile stretch of Vermont Route 108 from Cambridge to Stowe Mountain Resort. Trucks get stuck between rocks on tight curves that require expensive efforts to get them out, blocking the access for other travelers.
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A truck became stuck June 1, the second time it's happened this year according to AP, and the state says the frequency has ranged from two to 10 per season since 2009.
Sean McNally, a spokesman for American Trucking Associations, said the industry is aware of the problems an overreliance on GPS can cause.
"A lot of people are just paying attention to the GPS and basically kind of putting blinders on and not taking in their surroundings and paying attention," McNally told AP.