This week, state and local police in Florida are working together on a major truck enforcement operation designed to catch truck drivers who they say are intentionally breaking the law in order to earn more money.
The commercial vehicle enforcement campaign is called “Operation Weight Watchers” and it is designed to catch truck drivers who are speeding or hauling too much weight in Okeechobee County, Florida. The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Highway Patrol are working together on the enhanced commercial vehicle enforcement campaign.
Okeechobee County Sheriff Noel Stephen warned truckers on Wednesday, “Continue to speed, continue to run weights, and I’ll catch you.”
Police say that the truck crackdown is in response to an increase in crashes caused by trucks hauling trash and contaminated soil to the Okeechobee Landfill. Police say that “these enforcement measures reflected numerous crashes due to excessive speed and extremely overloaded trucks, and some trucks were found to weigh over 100,000 pounds which is 25% over their maximum allowed weight. Speed, coupled with weight, pose serious safety concerns as these trucks could not stop safely if they had too.”
Police also say that residents have accused truck drivers of “continuously passing in no passing zones, not stopping at stop signs, pulling out in front of oncoming traffic and, most concerning, passing school buses while stop arms deployed while picking up our children.”
Law enforcement estimates that there are more than 1200 truck trips to the landfill per day and that many of the truck drivers are deliberately disobeying the law in order to pad their paychecks.
“These haulers are paid by the tonnage delivered. So this relates to “how much can I haul” and “how fast can I get there and back?” There is a small percentage of these haulers that are not violating traffic laws relating to speed, unsafe weights, and faulty equipment but I feel a large amount of these haulers are breaking the law and do not care. My opinion is based upon my continued enforcement results of these haulers coming to and from the Okeechobee Landfill coupled with the number of complaints received from my residents who reside along the road leading to the Landfill.”
The Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office promises to keep hunting down and ticketing truck drivers who are breaking the law to the best of their abilities.
For more, check out the report below.