Liberty County is making a concerted effort to stop overweight trucks from tearing up roads. The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office recently was given the authority by the county and the Texas Department of Public Safety to crack down on drivers who break the law pertaining to weight loads.
According to Sheriff Bobby Rader, the Sheriff’s Office plans on having certified deputies working Commercial Vehicle Enforcement in the next few months.
“We first have to get deputies certified to issue overweight citations and the next class that DPS will put on is in September. We will send at least two deputies to that class,” said Rader.
In discussions with DPS, it was decided that the LCSO deputies would not write citations for a truck being overweight based solely on the ticket from the weight scales where the vehicle was loaded.
The DPS advised the majority of those types of scales were not certified and it would be difficult to get a conviction if the charges were contested in court. Presently, there are two DPS CVE-certified Troopers that work in Liberty County and they also help in other counties.
According to Rader, having a CVS Unit will be an asset to Liberty County and a deterrent to those truck operators that break the law. A citation that is written for most traffic offenses may be from $1-$200 plus court cost. A citation for failure to provide proof of financial responsibility may be a fine up to $350 for the first offense. In Liberty County, there is a court cost of around $102 that is added to the fine and the majority of that cost is sent to the State of Texas.
There are several options the judge may consider in whether a fine is collected or not. If the defendant receives a citation for not providing proof of financial responsibility, then showed the judge proof that there was, the judge may dismiss the charge. The defendant also has the option of taking defensive driving. The court may also grant a deferred disposition and place the defendant on probation and if the defendant is indigent there are considerations for that as well.
A commercial vehicle that is from 5,000-10,000 pounds overweight may pay a fine of at least $300 up to $500 plus court cost. If the unit is over 10,001 pounds, the fine is at least $500 up to $1,000.
If the driver gets another violation within a year, then the fine may be two times the original fine.
“When the constables and Sheriff’s Office work together, the citizens of Liberty County will benefit. I am hoping that if the trucking companies that break the law and are caught that the fines will be a deterrent. That fact, alone, should cause the damage to Liberty County roads to decrease,” Rader said.