Oregon to document scale dodgers with glossy 8-by-10 photos

| 3/6/2008

If you dodge the scales in Oregon for any reason, enforcement officers will send you a glossy 8-by-10 photo of the violation, in addition to a standard Class B misdemeanor citation.

The Oregon Motor Carrier Transportation Division is installing the first batch of cameras at the six ports of entry and may install more later at other weigh stations, an enforcement spokeswoman told Land Line.

The cameras are high-end video cameras purchased by the transportation division for $1,200 to $1,500 each, spokeswoman Sally Ridenour said.

Enforcement officers will use still images from the cameras to process citations. No third-party vendors will be involved in the operation.
“This is a way to encourage people not to bypass the weigh stations,” Ridenour said.

Revenue from fines will go to local law enforcement.

Incidents of truckers intentionally bypassing the scales were rare among the 1,742 trucks that passed by the “Open” sign in 2007, officials stated in the March 2008 edition of Oregon Motor Carrier News, the official publication of the DOT enforcement division.

Less than 1 percent of the trucks passed the scales intentionally to avoid weighing in, officials stated.

Those who skipped the scales in 2007 told enforcement officers they were not familiar with the scale location, the sign was obscured by the sun, or that the driver didn’t speak English well enough to understand the sign.

DOT enforcement officers in Oregon have the authority to follow a truck and cite a driver who skips the scales, but the addition of cameras could all but eliminate the need for officers to leave the scale property, officials stated.

Photos sent to violators will be time and date stamped. The cameras are to be installed during the next few months.

Truckers who participate in the Green Light pre-pass system will not have their trucks photographed or be affected by the new policy, officials stated.

– By David Tanner, staff writer