During a four-day safety blitz, more than 4,500 trucks passed through an Interstate 95 weigh station near Greenwich, Conn., and $75,000 in total fines were levied, including a $15,000 ticket for a vehicle 40,000 pounds overweight, the Stamford Advocate reported Wednesday, Sept. 26.
Lawmakers and truck safety advocates who support increasing weigh station hours told the Advocate that the results of the crackdown show that longer hours would keep the roads safer and would pay for itself. “This clearly shows why we have to be focused on this part of the state,” said Sen. Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, who has been pushing legislation for more than three years to open the station at least 12 hours a day. “We need this weigh station open seven days a week.”
Last week, Gov. M. Jodi Rell called for the weigh station to open at least eight hours a day for seven days, after hearing complaints from lower Fairfield County legislators who said her statewide truck safety crackdown at 13 checkpoints ignored Connecticut’s southwest part, the Advocate reported.
Debate about operation of the Greenwich station has raged for years, according to the Advocate: Critics of additional hours have said truck traffic backs onto I-95, or drivers go to roads in Greenwich to avoid the checkpoint. Other lawmakers have said the station’s hours should be increased only as part of a statewide plan that includes longer hours at Connecticut’s four other weigh stations, the newspaper reported.
On Friday, Sept. 21, one trucker accumulated more than $15,000 in violations, the Advocate reported. Trooper William Tate, a state police spokesman, told the newspaper the state did not have trucker-specific reports, but sources familiar with the Greenwich weigh station told the Advocate the truck weighed nearly 124,000 pounds, more than 40,000 pounds over the legal limit; the driver also had illegal permits.