Georgia ends local police enforcement of commercial trucks

| Monday, September 19, 2011

The Georgia Department of Public Safety is ending a program that gave local police authority to inspect commercial trucks.

Capt. Paul Cosper, a spokesman with the state’s Public Safety Department, told Land Line Magazine that about 88 police officers who are certified to perform truck inspections will be assigned back to their local police departments.

The move is not due to problems with local police performing the inspections, Cosper said.

“We’re just getting our people back out on the roadway,” Cosper said. “We just feel like it’s our job, and we’re going to do what the taxpayers ask us to do.”

The Georgia Legislature recently authorized $2 million for Georgia DPS to hire 63 civilian employees at weigh stations, replacing posts previously held by law enforcement officers. The new employees will free up state officers to perform truck inspections, Cosper said.

Since Jan. 1, Cosper said the state’s Motor Carrier Compliance Division had conducted more than 59,000 truck inspections, while the 88 local officers had inspected about 5,100.

While on the topic of inspections, Cosper clarified the breakdown of citation revenue between the state and local jurisdictions.

Cosper said 95 percent of citation revenue goes back to court systems serving the local jurisdiction in which tickets are issued.

“The state patrol – we don’t generate revenue,” Cosper said. “We’re out there to make the roads safer for everybody. We are very fair about how we dispose of things on the side of the road. If someone is in violation, they’ll be cited. But we’re not there to be overzealous.”

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