Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Rensselaer County Legislature Votes for Settlement of 2011 Route 7 Tractor Trailer Accident Costs

The Rensselaer County Legislature voted at the Tuesday, February 10 regular monthly meeting to support a legal settlement that will recoup some expenses related to a response of a tractor trailer accident in 2011.

Legislators said they want the settlement to be the framework of a policy to recover taxpayer expenses when there is an accident or spill found to be the fault of a transport company employing tractor trailers and other vehicles. There have been a significant number of tractor trailer rollovers on State Route 7 in recent years and the response for such accidents is considerable.

The settlement to recover $60,000 in expenses incurred by the county for costs related to a March 28, 2011 rollover was initiated by the County Attorney’s office and submitted to the Legislature for approval.

“The settlement helps recover taxpayer expenses for one of a number of accidents involving tractor trailers,” said Vice Chair of the Legislature Stan Brownell.

In most cases, the rollover of tractor trailers has also meant significant delays in traffic, long responses by county and local emergency services providers and clean-up of spills and other materials. Fuel and other substances have run into a nearby creek during some rollovers.

Legislators have repeatedly called for safety improvements on sections of State Route 7 in Hoosick following a series of tractor trailer rollovers. The state has made some improvements, and legislators have also hoped transport companies employing tractor trailers would urge drivers to exercise more caution.

          “We would like to see the county consider establishing a policy to seek these types of settlement when there is a significant expense to taxpayers following a tractor trailer rollover,” said Chair of the Legislature Martin Reid.

The resolution supporting settlement of Rensselaer County vs. Makria and Venezia Liquid Tank Line was approved at the February 10 meeting by a 16-0 vote.

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