Tickets for Overweight Trucks

New York State engages in a daily battle with truck drivers or drivers of semi-trailers or "rigs" who ship goods across its highways. Truck drivers feel they need to carry loads at or above capacity (overweight) to make ends meet. New York State imposes heavy fines and other penalties to the registered owners of trucks and semi-trailers who carry overweight loads because they claim it causes the need to repair highways, and bridges much more quickly.

In addition to ticketing trucks for overweight violations, New York State also levies heavy fines for cited violations like: inadequate brakes ($2500), load not properly secured, overwidth violations, labor hours, special hauling violations ($7500), hazardous materials citations, off route violations, aggravated unlicensed operation ($5000), operating out of service vehicles ($5000), tax violations, audio violations, and log book violations. In many cases these tickets, and the heavy fines attached to them, are issued even for innocent violations.

For some jurisdictions in New York State, including such principalities as Harrison, Greenburgh, New Rochelle, White Plains, Yonkers, Poughkeepsie, Brewster, Queens, the Bronx and parts of Ulster and Nassau Counties, it sometimes seems as if imposing fines on commercial trucks or CDL drivers is a business.

For instance, very often when police or state troopers issue tickets to truck or carting company drivers in these principalities, and others, they engage in a practice known as "stacking," or issuing multiple tickets with extremely high fines to the same trucking or carting company for the same traffic stop. Moreover, unlike in most normal traffic stops - the fines for these offenses are cumulative and the penalties are increased. Finally - a failure to appear at a scheduled court date can result in the imposition of criminal penalties.

The New York State Vehicle & Traffic Law (VTL) establishes weight limits for trucks traversing New York State highways. The New York State Department of Transportation ("DOT"), the New York State Thruway Authority and the New York State Bridge Authority provide permits to trucks or commercial vehicles whose load or weight exceeds the limits established by the VTL.

A violation of VTL 385 (10) sets forth that any vehicle (or combination) whose weight exceeds the limitations specified by a permit granted under 385(15) shall be punishable by fines (on the owner) as follows:

Total Weight of Load
(in pounds)
Fines
(in U.S. Dollars)
Greater Than Less Than
02,00050
2,0003,00075
3,0004,000100
4,0005,000200
5,0006,000300
6,0007,000400
7,0008,000500
8,0009,000600
9,00010,000700
10,00015,0001,200
15,00020,0001,700
20,00025,0002,200
25,00030,0002,700
30,00035,0003,200
35,00040,0003,700
40,00045,0004,200
45,00050,000 or greater4,700

Most truck or semi-trailer operators, and the companies for which they work, are not aware that - in instances where a truck's weight exceeds the maximum weight granted pursuant to an issued permit - New York State Law will treat the offense as if a permit had never been issued at all. You can, therefore, imagine just how high these fines can get.

In a fight with New York State - it is invariably the truck or CDL Licensed Driver (or his corporation) who loses. If you or one of your CDL Licensed drivers is stopped and for one or more of the above violations - you can do something about it. Hire an attorney experienced in fighting these summonses.

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