Heavy trucks targeted in Texas, Florida; Tennessee sting is a hoax

| 8/1/2005

Truckers in Texas and Florida will want to be on the lookout as local and county officials in both states have announced programs designed to crack down on overweight trucks.

The commissioners of Smith County, TX, are discussing the possibility of implementing a system for enforcing a permitting process recently instituted by the county.

The county engineer’s office recently began issuing permits to heavy haulers, which carry stiff fines if the weight limits on the permits are violated. County Engineer Bill Bala told the Tyler Morning Telegraph that he has already issued more than $60,000 in fines to various companies for damage to county roads, but has no way of enforcing the collection of those fines.

A proposed collection system would feature a road inspector, who would move throughout the county documenting existing damage to roads and determining if that damage is being worsened by heavy trucks.

Heavy trucks are also a concern in Pompano Beach, FL, which has banned them from its residential streets. Under the new rule, the city will be enforcing a 20,000-pound limit for each axle.

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the city’s commissioners have also approved the purchase of two vehicles equipped with scales to aid in the enforcement of the regulation.

The state of Florida already has a similar law for roads that it owns.

Meanwhile, Tennessee officials are claiming that rumors of a crackdown on speeding in that state are just that – rumors.

An e-mail is making the rounds in various states that claims that the Highway Patrol in that state has started a “30 day speeding-ticket frenzy.”

The e-mail has shown up in various states, most recently Tennessee. Melissa McDonald, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Safety said the e-mail is a hoax.

“There is not one shred of truth to it,” she said told Land Line.