By Jami Jones
More than one trucker has thunked his head on the steering wheel repeatedly when he realizes that the cop who has him pulled over for an inspection is the first cousin to Barney One-Bullet.
It’s bad enough when you have a town cop packing a DOT ticket book – maybe a little drunk with power – doubling as a commercial enforcement officer.
But Clayton Township in Michigan has taken commercial vehicle enforcement to a ridiculous new low – using volunteer, nonpaid, nonregulated reserve officers.
You read that right. For nearly four months, according to The Flint Journal, the township police chief has allowed these card-carrying reservists to pull over trucks suspected of carrying overweight loads.
The paper reports that one trucker was issued a $3,800 ticket by one of these volunteers. The ticket was later knocked down to $300.
The situation is riddled with problems from top to bottom. And, fortunately for now, the residents of the township have pitched a fit and the use of these volunteers to police heavy trucks has stopped.
“For now” are the operative words in that sentence.
Township officials, apparently unwilling to give up the money from tickets issued by nonpaid volunteers, are looking for another way to send the citizen corps back on the road.
They are actually considering giving the reservists a new title and putting them back on the road. The title? Get this. Weighmasters.
It’s not often that I’m at a loss for words, but this one has me shaking my head. What training and credentialing are these folks going to be required to have? I mean would some guy who logs in the weights at the weekly Weight Watchers weigh-in be qualified?
This program needs to be stamped down because of the numerous legal and safety concerns it raises – and certainly before other podunk towns looking to cash in on big trucks catch wind of it. LL