Local Police Can Now Enforce Truck Weights in Final Bill

Photo shows two Motor Carrier Compliance Division officers stopped behind a tractor-trailer on the side of the interstate (Georgia photo).
(Georgia photo)

Members of the Georgia House and Senate worked late into Wednesday evening seeking a compromise on House Bill 189, whether to raise maximum truck weights on state and local roads. Members reached a consensus at 9:30 pm — paving the way for a two-year increase on weights as well as new local police enforcement options.

Both chambers adopted the compromise bill before adjourning. The bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

Maximum Truck Weights

Presently, Georgia allows a maximum truck weight of 80,000 pounds with a 5% variance up to 84,000 for certain commodities. These commodities include agriculture products, timber, granite or ore, and solid waste. The final version of House Bill 189 will give agriculture and timber products up to a 10% variance, or 88,000 pounds. The increased weights may apply to trips less than 150 miles.

It is worth noting this weight increase applies to state and local roads only. The federal interstate system caps loads at 80 thousand pounds, except by special permit.

Furthermore, the bill excludes the 13-county metro Atlanta area from the higher weight limits. This includes Henry County.

Lawmakers included a two-year sunset on the provision. This was an increase from the one-year limit initially adopted by the senate. Lawmakers will have to return to the discussion table again in 2025 about the topic.

Local Police

As part of the senate changes to the bill, they empowered local police departments to begin enforcing truck weights. Following the compromise bill between the house and senate, this new provision applies to local roads only. Any weights enforcement on the interstate and state routes will remain the preview of state officers.

Before local police officers can enforce weight limits, they must undergo additional training by the state. The county or city would also have to invest in new equipment, such as portable scales. Finally, pre-existing state law requires any overweight fines go to the state. The local jurisdiction could not keep the money.

The local law enforcement component of the bill likewise has a two-year sunset clause, or until June 30, 2025.

Featured image shows two Motor Carrier Compliance Division officers on the interstate. Georgia photo.

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About Clayton 1406 Articles
Clayton Carte is the founder and owner of MHF News. He founded the site in 2017 to highlight transportation projects. Over time, he began covering other topics like new development so residents can best know what’s happening in our community.