Troy police bust truck drivers over weight limits

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 27, 2019


TROY — Troy Police Department motor carrier officers handed out 98 tickets to truckers over the weight limit in a one-week period.

“Frost laws are behind this enforcement effort, and the goal is to prevent further damage to our roads,” states a press release from the Troy Police Department.

Troy police Sgt. Meghan Lehman said that the three officers dedicated to motor carrier enforcement wrote $225,000 in tickets after the spring weight restrictions took effect March 14-21.

According to the Road Commission for Oakland County, each spring, in accordance with state law, the Road Commission reduces the weight limits on its non-all-weather roads — roads not designed for heavy trucks — as temperatures begin to rise and the ground begins to thaw.

“As the road subsurface thaws, the road’s ability to carry weight is reduced,” Road Commission Managing Director Dennis Kolar explained in a prepared statement. “That means that a weight that wouldn’t affect the road under normal conditions might now damage the road. These restrictions help to ensure that our roads last as long as possible with as few potholes as possible.”

The restrictions do not affect passenger vehicles; they only apply to commercial trucks, said Craig Bryson, a spokesman for the Road Commission.

Bryson told C & G Newspapers that all-weather roads are more expensive to construct and include drainage in the base. Non-all-weather roads will retain more moisture. He explained that non-all-weather roads are two-lane asphalt roads typically seen in more rural areas.

Weight restrictions are enforced by weighmasters employed by the Road Commission, the state, local communities or the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. A violation of the weight restrictions can result in a citation and a fine.

David Czerniakowski, the Road Commission’s department of customer services director, said the timing of this year’s weight restrictions is fairly typical.

“It is usually in late February or early March that the ground is thawing and we must apply the restrictions,” he said in the release.

Czerniakowski said he will recommend that the restrictions be removed when he determines that the soil is no longer saturated and the frost has thawed.

Lehman said that in early spring, each county enacts seasonal enforcement weight restrictions on certain roads not designed for heavy trucks. The idea behind this is that heavy trucks cause damage to roads, and the roads are especially vulnerable during the spring thaw.

“The Troy Police Department is unique among local law enforcement in that we have three certified motor carrier officers,” the Troy Police Department release states. “These officers are dedicating 10  hours a day, six days a week, to enforcing frost laws and, hopefully, preventing further damage to our local roads.”

Lehman noted that the enforcement detail, in addition to citations, has also resulted in the arrest of several unlicensed drivers and the removal of several unsafe trucks from the roads.