Wyoming authorities reportedly citing more overweight trucks

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The Wyoming Highway Patrol is citing more trucks on state highways for being overweight, the Associated Press reported today, Oct. 31. The patrol issued an average of nearly 740 overweight-load citations each year between 2002 and 2005, but in 2006, it wrote 900 citations, according to the news agency; by Oct. 15 of this year, the patrol had written 600 tickets.

“We write them every week,” Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Stephen Townsend told the AP. The culprits are a mixture of local and out-of-state drivers, Townsend told the news agency; some are ignorant of the laws, some ignore them, and others try to sneak loads so heavy that they never would be permitted legally on state highways.

A common weight offender is a rig company that tries to save time by moving an entire rig, rather than breaking it down into lighter pieces, Townsend told the AP; such loads can weigh hundreds of thousands of pounds and cause serious damage to the highway surface and subsurface.

Other truckers get into trouble by cheating a self-issuing permit system that asks drivers and companies to be on their honor, Townsend told the news agency; the program allows drivers to weigh their own trucks, issue their own permits and turn in the paperwork to the state within 48 hours.

The maximum penalty for violating an overweight-load permit is up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine, plus additional weight-based fines for extremely heavy loads, Townsend told the AP.