Police Have New Tool on Road to Ensure Truck Safety

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OLD LYCOMING TWP. -- Truckers beware, police in Lycoming County have a new tool to make sure big rigs are following the rules.

It is no ordinary pick-up truck at the Old Lycoming Township Police Department near Williamsport. It is equipped with mobile scales and other devices that will help police enforce the rules of the road.

The new motor carrier enforcement vehicle hit the streets for the first time Wednesday in search of large trucks that are overweight or unsafe.

"We're going to be on 15, old 15, back roads, anywhere we have truck traffic and where we have complaints," said Chief Bill Solomon.

Chief Solomon said there are many more trucks on local roads these days, thanks in part to the natural gas industry.

So township police took the initiative to add to what state police already do to crack-down on big trucks.

""They do the best they can with what they have, we took the initiative to do our own locally with Old Lycoming, Lycoming and Hepburn townships," added the chief.

Officers staked out heavy loads from a spot on Route 15 and when the first one came along it was time to put the new unit to work.

Police checked out the permit and measured the truck's height and length, making sure it is safe to stay on the road.

While it appears the first oversize load police pulled over is in compliance with all the rules and regulations of the road, officers said if a truck has two or three or more violations the drivers could face penalties of over a thousand dollars.

"It's one way to better the community, keep vehicles on the road safe. Make sure permits are there, without cost to taxpayers," said Old Lycoming Township Supervisor John Eck.

That is because the fines from any violations get split-up between the state and the local level and the money will help pay for the equipment and police, said officials.