South Dakota legislators have heard an earful of opposition on a proposed plan that would use scale receipts to help track down overweight trucks.
The state’s Senate Transportation Committee last week discussed a bill that would require companies with commercial scales – in this state, a lot of grain elevators – to record license numbers of trucks that are weighed. Officers could inspect the weight slips and follow up when it appeared that a truck carried too heavy a load.
The measure is part of Gov. Bill Janklow’s war against overweight trucks in the state.
“The only reason you would not want someone to look at scale tickets is if you’re trying to protect someone who has something to hide,” said the state transportation secretary.
Several farmers and an official for the grain elevator industry said they oppose SB59, which would require commercial scale operators to include license plate numbers on weight slips. The panel took no immediate action on the bill.
Maj. Tom Dravland, assistant superintendent of the Highway Patrol, said there are not enough portable state scales and employees to adequately check for overloaded trucks. And he said truckers can avoid weigh stations by using alternate routes or waiting until they are closed. Access to records at commercial scales would make it easier to trace overloaded trucks, he said.
Ken Weinheimer of Onida likened inspection of weight slips to cops going into bars and checking customers' receipts in order to follow them and make arrests for drunken driving.