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Pound Ridge Daily Voice serves Pound Ridge, NY

Rogue Commercial Truckers Targeted in Pound Ridge

Commercial truck drivers navigating the back roads of Pound Ridge better have all their paperwork in order. The multi-agency commercial vehicle enforcement detail will be on the lookout for those that don’t.

Comprised of the Pound Ridge Police Department, the New York State Police, the Department of Public Safety, the County Consumer Protection Department and the County Solid Waste Department, the enforcement detail has been conducting commercial vehicle stops at the Pound Ridge town park every two weeks since April. The program will continue through July.

Besides making sure drivers have the proper type of driver’s license and required state-issued medical card, enforcement officials check for insurance, required business licenses and permits from the county, state, or Department of Environmental Conservation. The also check for DOT requirements, such as good brakes, flares, mud flaps and other vehicle safety issues.

“What we have found is that sometimes [the driver’s] don’t even have a regular driver’s license, much less a commercial license,” said Pound Ridge Police Chief David Ryan. As a result, the business owners can be fined as well.

“I think sometimes [the business owner] is trying to get by by hiring cheaper labor,” the chief said. “But most of the time it’s because they’re just incompetent.”

Ryan said because of the town’s close proximity to the Connecticut border, many truckers who know they’re breaking the law will use the back roads of Pound Ridge in an effort to avoid major highways, such as I-68, in hopes of avoiding the police.

Besides driver’s licenses and vehicle safety issues, the enforcement detail also checks to make sure the trucks’ owners have the proper workmen’s compensation insurance required for whatever type of business they are running.

“We’ve had six or seven incidences in town where workers have been hurt and there was no workman’s comp insurance,” Ryan said. “That [responsibility] then falls back to the homeowners, which isn’t fair.”

In April, the Pound Ridge police issued 11 tickets and took three vehicles out of service. State Police gave out 12 tickets and also took three vehicles out of service. The Consumer Protection Department cited six drivers for violations, which resulted in arrests. In May, Pound Ridge police wrote 19 tickets and the state police issued nine. Consumer Protection wrote 10 violations resulting in arrests.

Ryan said the program is key to helping keep local motorists safe. ““We have been doing this every spring since I’ve been chief for the past 11 years. It’s important,” he said. “I saw one truck with bad brakes just blow through an intersection and it nearly hit me. I pulled him over and all he could say was, ‘you got me.’ I said, ‘You got me? You could have killed someone who couldn’t react as quickly as me.’”

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