Every state in the United States is burdened with the problem of dealing with the overloaded trucker. So flagrant is the violation of the load limit law that the law enforcement agencies are unable to cope with the situation. Law enforcement offices charged with enforcing the statutes against overweight loads on the highways are overwhelmed by the magnitude of the job and by the absolute blatant disregard of the law by some carriers. So bad has the situation become that the legal carriers, the highway departments, and citizens generally have called on the attorney general of the various states to use his powers as the legal officer and representative of the people to stop this continuous violation of the statutes. The question then arises as to what authority and in what manner may the attorney general prevent the widespread operation of truckers hauling on the public roads with loads in excess of the legal weight limits. Texas has been one of the more successful states in handling this problem. The Attorney General of Texas approached the problem by way of the civil route rather than the criminal route, namely, by the seeking of injunctive relief against the persons or corporations who load or unload the overloaded vehicles as well as the operators of such vehicles. This paper presents a step-by-step analysis of Texas' method of civil prosecution aimed at stopping the overloaded trucker. Texas started to use this new approach in December 1984; by the end of June 1985, a mere 7 months, the overloaded truckers had paid the State over $1,300,000.00 in settlements and, according to Department of Public Safety figures, their law enforcement officers issued 8,000 less tickets in January of 1985 (latest available statistics for this paper) than in January of the previous year.

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  • Accession Number: 00621570
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Addendum 5
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Apr 30 1992 12:00AM