BOSTON (WHDH) - With college students set to return to campuses across the Boston area this week, officials are hoping a new sign on Storrow Drive will help alert drivers of low clearance bridges and prevent future problems along the popular route. 

The “cars only” sign went up on Monday at the entrance to Storrow Drive on David G. Mugar Way. It has a piece of rubber that hangs from the bottom and could be the first of many similar signs in the area as officials continue to tackle the issue of vehicles hitting low bridges.

“You have to be aware of the vehicle you’re driving,” said state Department of Conservation and Recreation Deputy Chief Engineer Jeff Parenti. “As soon as you get in the driver’s seat of that truck, make sure you understand the height of the vehicle.” 

Parenti said officials are starting a pilot program for “cars only” signs aimed at keeping overheight trucks off the parkways along the Charles River. 

“We are hoping the new signs will get the attention of truck drivers more often than the old ones,” he said.

Parenti said the new sign on Mugar Way is aluminum and heavier than existing signs along Storrow Drive and similar roads. 

“So, I think it will make a bigger impact on the top of the truck, will get the driver’s attention and, hopefully, the driver will understand that they are entering a roadway with low clearance,” Parenti said. 

“They are at risk,” Parenti said of trucks. “Trucks do not belong on the parkways along the river, so we’re trying very hard to prevent them from coming on and we hope that the new sign will help prevent that.” 

Parenti said there have been about 250 reported collisions with bridges over the past 22 years. He said he also believes more go unreported, though.

“Any time you see a ‘no trucks’ sign, we’re serious,” he said. “Please do not get on the roadway because you will damage the truck.” 

While they have only installed one new sign, for the time being, officials this week said they will install move signs at other entrances to Storrow Drive if this sign works. 

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