A lot of people have complaints about sport utility vehicles, often related to their gas consumption and increased risk of death in collisions. Tesla’s Model X, the company’s first all-electric SUV, avoids issues with fuel economy (by not using any), but the falcon-winged ride has does have some pitfalls for drivers living in the New York City area. As it turns out, the Model X is one of eight cars that exceed the maximum weight limit for the Brooklyn Bridge, making it illegal to drive across the bridge in one of those vehicles.
Writing for The Drive, Will Sabel Courtney shed some light on an issue that many people tend to ignore. The Brooklyn Bridge has a posted maximum weight limit of three tons. Most popular pickup trucks and SUVs weigh more than that, yet they often drive across the bridge without incident. The crossing is an iconic part of the city’s landscape, and although it was built to endure, it is now over 130 years old. Like all the city’s bridges, the posted maximum weight limit is intended to prolong the life of the bridge and keep maintenance costs down.
It may be one thing for drivers to ignore posted weight limits, but that’s usually where law enforcement is supposed to intervene, right? However, as Courtney writes, “The NYPD officers situated at each end of the bridge don’t seem bothered.” He also notes that even a smaller vehicle can exceed the weight limits once it’s loaded down with passengers, or after a fruitful trip to IKEA. Yet, vehicles of all weights continue to flow over the bridge, which was deemed “structurally deficient” in a 2011 federal study leading to regular required inspections.
This news comes as Tesla customers are preparing to take delivery of the long-awaited all-electric SUV. Although the model debuted months ago, the company has fulfilled pre-orders on a rolling basis, and soon hundreds of NYC drivers will be behind the wheel of a brand spanking new Model X. We just hope they’ll pay attention to city laws for safety’s sake, even if the NYPD continues to turn a blind eye.