A number of lawmakers in Connecticut are targeting the trucking industry with proposals to increase operating times for weigh stations along I-95 in an effort to improve highway safety and discourage truck traffic during rush hour.
State Senator Andrew McDonald (D-Stamford) proposed a bill to keep I-95 weigh stations in Greenwich open from 6 am to 10 am, and 6pm to 10 pm to alleviate congestion during peak hours. State Senator Robert Duff (D-Norwalk) proposed a similar bill to keep weigh stations open 16 hours a day to protect motorists from overweight trucks.
“Fewer than 1% of the trucks traveling through (Connecticut) are inspected. Of those trucks stopped at weigh stations, 92% were sighted for violations,” said Jill Kelly, co-chairman of the Connecticut Citizens Transportation Lobby, speaking before the Transportation Committee adding that congestion issues along the I-95 corridor makes weigh station enforcement a more pressing issue.
“I-95 was built in 1959 for a capacity of 90,000 vehicles daily,” Kelly said. “The Dept. of Transportation released figures showing the highway now carries 156,000 vehicles daily in the Stamford area.”
“There is a real frustration with the transportation system in this state,” said Michael Riley, president of the Motor Transport Assn. of Connecticut. “With I-95 designed to meet the demands of the ‘50s now congested and the scene of many dramatic accidents, people get antsy when it comes to trucking.
“It doesn’t make sense to have cruisers parked at scale houses when they could be more productively used to enforce moving violations,” said Riley. “The real problems occur out on the highway with moving violations, speeding and reckless driving on the part of both trucks and cars.”