According to Gazettes, the city of Los Angeles has put together a special police unit, the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Team (CVET). The unit’s primary goal is to crackdown on overweight trucks.
“Our goal is not to necessarily punish people who are driving overweight vehicles — our goal is to gain compliance,” City Prosecutor Doug Haubert told Gazettes. “Overweight vehicles destroy our streets and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.”
On January 8, 2013, the unit caught 17 offenders, resulting in $125,000 in fines.
“There’s a whole group of trucking companies trying to avoid us,” Officer Sean Parilla told Gazettes. “They go as far as to know our schedules. There are several companies, honestly, I think they just don’t care.”
The CVET consists of two police officers and one detective and they canvas the entire city, though the team focuses its efforts on the area near the Port of Long Beach.
When citations are issued to repeat offenders, CVET works with the City Prosecutor’s Office for prosecution.
“This is one of those rare areas of the law where the fine is not capped at $1,000 for a misdemeanor,” Haubert said. “A company that does a lot of business, if they are habitually overloading vehicles, they could face thousands and thousands of dollars worth of fines every day.”
Last year, the Pacific Coast Container paid a $460,000 fine for 47 misdemeanor counts.