Connecticut bill to increase weigh station hours dies

| Thursday, June 21, 2007

A bill intended to increase safety on Connecticut roadways by keeping truck weigh stations open longer hours has died.

The roots of the legislative effort can be traced back to a deadly truck crash in July 2005 that killed four people and injured 19 in the town of Avon. It happened when a dump truck slammed into other vehicles stopped at the bottom of the mountain’s steep grade at the intersection of state Routes 44 and 10.

The bill – SB1271 – would have required the Interstate 95 weigh station in Greenwich to be open at least 12 hours a day in four-hour shifts Monday through Friday. The facility would have been open eight hours a day in four-hours shifts on weekends.

The Greenwich station now is required to be open 256 hours a month. There are eight, eight-hour shifts per week.

Danbury and Union stations on Interstate 84 also would have been required to be open longer. The bill specified the stations operate for eight hours each day in four-hour shifts. On weekends, the facilities would have been staffed four hours a day.

Hours at weigh stations on Interstate 95 in Waterford and Interstate 91 in Middletown would not have been not affected.

Weigh stations are staffed by state troopers and the state Department of Motor Vehicles. The Department of Public Safety is responsible for the facilities at Danbury and Greenwich. The DMV oversees the Union station.

The bill would have required the departments to share responsibility for the weigh stations.

Another provision would have mandated more detailed reporting of the numbers and types of vehicles inspected. Citations issued also would have been noted.

Supporters said the changes were commonsense. The effort would help ensure more trucks on highways in the state are operating safely, they said.

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