A bill in the New Jersey Assembly would allow sheriffs to weigh,
measure and inspect commercial vehicles.
Current state law relegates weighing and inspections to the New Jersey
The bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, D-Mercer, would allow
sheriff’s officers to require truck drivers to take their rigs to a weigh
station or other location to be weighed, but only if the officer has probable
cause to believe the truck is in violation of state weight limits.
Only an officer certified by the state as a weighmaster can weigh the
trucks, and only on scales approved by the State Superintendent of Weights and
However, the state police would retain the right, to “establish and
operate locations for the measurement and weighing of vehicles.”
In addition, the state police would keep the sole authority to conduct
random roadside weight checks. A random roadside inspection could not be
conducted if the truck has been stopped for a random roadside inspection
anywhere in the U.S. within the previous 24 hours.
Gail Toth, director of the New Jersey Motor Truck Association, told Land Line the frequency of overweight trucks in the state
doesn’t warrant expanding who has authority to conduct inspections and makes
her question the motives behind the effort.
“Research the state police has done shows less than 1 percent of all
trucks weighed are found to be overweight. The only reason local governments
are pursuing this is because they want more revenue. That’s all I can figure,” Toth said.
Instead, Toth offered her own solution.
“If they are so concerned about overweight trucks, we would support
designating land in municipalities where a high-speed, modern weigh station
could be put in. I have no problem with that. That way, it’s controlled by the
state police and it’s done in a fair, quick fashion.”
A897 is in the Assembly Transportation and Public Works Committee.
– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor