Proposal would allow police to crack down on illegal truck short cuts
'Show me your papers': Bill seeks to curb illegal truck shortcuts; lobbyists protest
Updated 3:48 pm, Wednesday, June 1, 2011
There are over 200 No Thru Truck streets in the Fairfield County region, and some of them, residents say, are still frequently used as shortcuts due to a lack of enforcement.
In the final days of the 2011 legislative session, state Rep. Kim Fawcett, D-Fairfield, is urging support for a proposal granting law enforcement the right to request truckers pulled over on those roads to produce an itinerary or an address.
"If they have business (there) they can be on the road. But if they're just using it as a cross-through then an infraction is issued," Fawcett said.
She faces opposition from a trucking lobbyist and colleagues in both parties who argue Fawcett's efforts could infringe on truckers' civil rights.
Fawcett's proposal originated in an effort to address some constituents' complaints about trucks using certain banned areas of Route 136. Fawcett believes it is too easy for truck drivers who are not supposed to be on a No Thru Truck street to come up with excuses when stopped by police.
"It's part of their business. The drivers know No Thru Truck roads are not enforceable. The sign means nothing to them," she said.
More InformationTo learn more For more information on the state's No Thru Truck's program, visit: http://www.ct.gov/dot/cwp/view.asp?a=2314&q=259748
Redding Police Chief Douglas Fuchs, president-elect of the Connecticut Association of Police Chiefs, in an email said certified truck enforcement officers can ask for drivers' paperwork during routine spot checks and have never been refused.
"That being said, it (origin or destination paperwork) is not in statute anywhere and any reasonable statue which allows our officers to do their job more effectively would not be opposed," Fuchs said.
"Her amendment would allow any cop on any No Thru street to pull over any truck and ask them to produce documents to prove they're headed somewhere. We don't do that in this country," Riley said. "If a cop thinks somebody's violating a No Thru Truck zone, follow them and if they are, take action & People move in and out of No Truck Zones, so there are legitimate reasons for trucks to be in them."
Danbury has the most No Thru Trucks zones, 33, out of the 208 the state Department of Transportation says have been established over the years in 23 area municipalities.
But state Rep. Bob Godfrey, D-Danbury, also does not approve of Fawcett's proposal.
"I just don't like `show me your papers' to use a public road," Godfrey said.