Cracking down on big rigs

Cracking down on big rigs
YAKIMA, Wash.-- Yakima is short-handed when it comes to enforcing trucks that are too heavy for the streets. YPD isn't qualified to write these tickets that could stop them from doing damage. It's a flaw in the system the city wants to change. Every day thousands of trucks drive on city streets in Yakima.

"A couple hundred," Beth Moberly, who works at a truck stop, says of how many truck drivers she sees per day.

She knows waiting extra time on the road can hurt her customers.

"Their delivery is a certain time and if they don't get there during that time they have to wait a whole other day," Moberly said.

The problem is many of these trucks are too heavy to be on city streets. That added weight can damage the roads. YPD can only pull over a big rig, but cannot cite them. The officer and truck driver have to wait for a trooper to do that.

"A lot of people are losing money while they're waiting here," Moberly said.

Police tell me waiting for State patrol can take at least 45 minutes. That officer can't enforce other issues in the meantime. Now there's a plan to allow officers to write tickets and get everyone back on their way.

"It would just make things quicker, smoothing, easier for them," Moberly said.

Training and equipment costs would be nearly $65,000 dollars. This would include portable scales. YPD thinks truckers would prefer this change in enforcement.

"When they're not delivering their product, it gets very expensive for them," Traffic Sergeant Jay Seely said. "They really want to rectify that problem quickly and get on the move."

YPD also expects the change to bring in more money. They say citations will probably rise when it's new, but eventually plateau. The goal is to keep trucks rolling without tearing up Yakima's roads.

The Yakima Public Safety committee approved the proposal. It now goes to Yakima City Council.