County cracks down on truckers dodging scales

Published 6:57 pm Friday, March 2, 2018

Loggers and other truckers could be paying a heftier fine if they get caught on county roads dodging the weigh scales.

Edmond Gibbs, the enforcement officer for the Warren County Road Department, told the Board of Supervisors during their work session Monday he would like to see the fine increased for overweight 18-wheelers.

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The specific fine amount is established by each county in Mississippi and currently, the average fine in the state is $200.

Violators report to justice court where they are given and pay their fine amount.

Gibbs said right now the fine is “like a tap on the hand.”

“They just continue to keep coming through,” Gibbs said of the violators.

Gibbs said an increase in the fine could be used as a deterrent to those drivers using county roads to dodge the scales on Interstate 20.

The overweight trucks can cause damage to county roads and bridges.

Gibbs provided the supervisors a copy of a ticket he gave an overweight trucker in January in which the load the driver was carrying was 28,550 pounds overweight. He took the trucker and his load to the Mississippi Department of Transportation scales and he was fined more than $300. MDOT’s fine is based upon so many cents per pound.

“On our county road, he would have been .11 cents per pound overweight,” Gibbs said. “His total fee on our county road would have been $3,140. I know that’s a lot, but what I would like to do is fine them $200 plus court cost. That would probably help keep the trucks off the county roads.”

Board President Richard George said losing that money and the loss of time delivering the load is what “stings” the haulers.

He suggested Gibbs and County Attorney Blake Teller get together to determine how much authority the county has in increasing the fine.

“How you can actually enforce it is the key,” George said.

George said the county is among others in Mississippi just now cracking down and curtailing the abuse of overweight truckers damaging county roads and bridges.

“We are not any where near as bad of shape in Warren County as a lot of counties in Mississippi,” George said.

He said a lot of counties in the state have overlooked the abuse of county roads “and now it’s caught up to them.”

“Bridges are failing big time. They have not been maintaining and it’s caught up to them,” George said.