April Fools: That term may only apply to truckers who try to bypass the weigh station at Exit 2 of Interstate 95 Friday morning, or to beat one of three truck safety checkpoints that local, state, federal enforcers will hold simultaneously in western Greenwich Friday morning.
In a local, state and federal crackdown, there will be three truck safety inspection checkpoints in locations on the western edge of town – neighborhoods that typically are used by truckers trying to avoid the weigh station manned by the Connecticut State Police. On Friday morning, law enforcement agencies are planning a full-court press as the state police also agreed to open the truck weigh station in an attempt to minimize evading inspections.
"I can guarantee you that when the word gets out that we have the checkpoints and that both Greenwich and Danbury is open, everything will come to a standstill - the Vince Lombardi service area" of the New Jersey Turnpike will be filled," Gray said.
Greenwich Police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray said there will be 25 Greenwich officers – including the canine unit, members of the Connecticut State Police truck inspection unit with portable truck scales, and federal agents from the IRS.
“The IRS will be checking on the type of diesel fuel being used by truckers,” Gray explained. “Diesel used for home heating fuel is different and not taxed as heavily as truck diesel, according to Gray.
Historically, when the Greenwich weigh station is open, truckers try to avoid inspection by using local roads in the Byram and Glenville areas, as well as King Street along the New York State border near I-684.
“Everything gets bottlenecked in Greenwich with I-95 the major artery into the Northeast,” said Greenwich Sgt. John Slusarz, commander of the traffic enforcement division that has been training more officers in the intricacies of commercial motor vehicle law.
Slusarz said, “We’re picking up our own level of enforcement of truck laws … we have 25 officers who have been training and this will be a good opportunity to get more experience with inspections with some of the best enforcement officers in the region.”
Safety checks also include truck weights, how trucks are loaded, materials being carried, whether drivers have proper documentation and licensing. Slusarz said trucks found to be in violation will be taken off the road until necessary repairs are made.
The checkpoints planned for Ritch Avenue, off Exit 2 in Byram; 500 W. Putnam Ave., and on King Street between the Merritt Parkway and I-684 will be held between 7 and 11 a.m. Friday, April 1, weather permitting. “If it’s snowing or more than a little rain, we’ll postpone it,” Gray said.