We continue to see more of a new behavior when you are being stopped and cited for a violation -pictures are being taken of the violation by the officer. Some of you may not even be aware that pictures are submitted with the citation to the court as evidence in your case. What we recommend is that when you’re pulled over for whatever the violation may be, get out and take pictures of what you’re being cited for if you have the opportunity.
For example: We continue to have local agencies stopping and writing load securement violations for not having a second form of securement on the binders – they are not required. I wrote extensively about this in the March/April edition of WTN. If this happens to you, get out of the truck and have the officer show you the binder that you are specifically being cited for and take a picture. You will be surprised how the court doesn’t file the citation at the request of the officer.
Once you take the initiative, it will help you in the future. Have a good attitude and most importantly understand what you’re being cited for. Be sure to fix the problem right away if it’s a fixable violation. Fix-it tickets used to be nothing more than that, but as things continue to change, fixing the violation and getting it signed off is only part of what you’ll deal with. There is now a $25 administrative fee for each item corrected and dismissed.
We continue to hear that drivers are being cited for not having their Short Term Route Restrictions (STRR) issued by Caltrans which is required for ALL Annual Transportation Permit holders. This is very important and let me tell you why. When we first requested annual permits to even be issued, we agreed that we had to have something to inform drivers when a restriction was going to take place. This was the best way that we came up with and it was either that or nothing. When you used to have to do everything by single trip permits, it was welcome with open arms. The STRR are weekly restrictions so Industry knew ahead of time which routes are restricted for freeway construction. Back in the day before annual permits were approved for Industry, all transportation permits were issued on a single trip basis. It took several years before this was approved and what held it up was that fact that if a load was being moved under an annual permit how does the transporter know where there are closures due to construction, false work or even a lane width being reduced?
The list of short-term restrictions on state routes is updated daily, and published weekly as conditions change. It is the responsibility of the permit holder and the operator of the extra-legal vehicle/load to check to see if any additional restrictions have been added to your authorized route before beginning each trip.
You may get the most current status of any such restrictions on your authorized route by accessing the Route Clearing database on-line at http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/permits/. You can also verify vertical restrictions by using a vertical clearance measuring device authorized by California Vehicle Code Section 35252.
Please note: Relinquished route segments are included in this listing. If applicable, you must obtain local transportation permits as required by local laws, rules, and regulations. All annual and repetitive permit holders are required to receive this information and to keep a copy with their permit during all moves.
The one thing as an Industry we need to avoid is Annual Permittee’s not paying attention to the restrictions and start having accidents. Getting a citation for not being in possession of your STRR accompaniments or any of the other accompaniments that are required, the fines can be as much as $750. This doesn’t include the lost time at the scales or sitting on the side of the road waiting for them to be sent to the driver.
These two issues are in our control and both can be easily avoided. As an Industry we need to be doing the best and safest job we can and attention to these two issues will help us work toward that goal.