Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Officials Discuss Consolidation of Enforcement Functions, Uprading Weigh Stations

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Officials Discuss Consolidation of Enforcement Functions, Uprading Weigh Stations

Article excerpt

Consolidation of trucking law enforcement functions, along with upgrading weigh stations, could benefit not only the trucking industry but the state as well, according to Thursday testimony.

Members of the Special Senate Interim Committee on Motor Vehicle Revenue Enforcement Officers Transfer from the Tax Commission to the Department of Transportation discussed both the short term and long term of truck enforcement.

In the short term, officials representing various state agencies involved in trucker oversight agreed that the Department of Public Safety would be the agency best charged with enforcement. In the long term, they said lawmakers should conduct a cost/benefit analysis of multimillion-dollar upgrades for the state's weigh stations.

Currently, various functions relating to truck weight are carried out by various agencies. For example, the Oklahoma Tax Commission is in charge of upkeep on scales but the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is in charge of upkeep on the scale houses, leading some legislators Thursday to grumble about Chinese fire drills.

In addition, one agency may have oversight of gross weight while another is charged with making sure that the weight is properly distributed on a truck.

Even though upkeep on existing weigh stations costs relatively little, lawmakers said new technology could improve traffic flow at the same time, saving truckers valuable time.

New Mexico and Arizona recently installed weigh stations able to conduct in-transit weighing. That -- coupled with Oklahoma's existing Pre-Pass, in which trucks are registered from other states - - would make it possible for trucks to be weighed and paperwork checked as they go past a weigh station without even slowing down.

Sen. Keith Leftwich, D-Oklahoma City, said lawmakers should include legislation allowing such facilities with proposals streamlining law enforcement oversight. …

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