A new law to keep overweight trucks off Texas roads will go in effect Sept. 1, a necessary change that Houston-based truck accident attorney Gene S. Hagood said will undoubtedly make roads and highways safer for all drivers.
Hagood, lead attorney at the Law Offices of Gene S. Hagood, based his comments on a July 28 article published in Landline Magazine, "Texas law makes changes to truck weight enforcement." The article states that as of Sept. 1, the Texas Department of Public Safety will be required to have uniform procedures in place for motor vehicle weight enforcement officers to follow.
"A truck loaded with too much cargo presents many dangers on Houston-area roads and highways," Hagood said. "Overloaded trucks are not only more difficult to control or stop for the most experienced of drivers, but they also create unnecessary strain on mechanical components. Too much cargo on a trailer increases risk of tire blowouts, brake failure or even a trailer becoming unhitched while on the road."
According to Landline Magazine, the new law requires uniform truck weighing procedures to be set in place and authorizes the Department of Public Safety to rescind or revoke the authority of weight enforcement officers who fail to comply, including officials from Texas police departments, sheriff's department and constable's office.
Landline Magazine indicates that the new law will ensure that citations for overweight vehicles - which can reach several thousand dollars based on the type of offense and whether a violator is a repeat offender - will be issued appropriately and consistently.
As a lawyer who has represented injured individuals and families who lost loved ones in truck accidents, Hagood said tough laws regulating how commercial vehicles operate will ultimately save lives in Texas.
"It is critical for truck drivers and trucking companies to follow regulations and stick to weight limits for tractor-trailers, which travel thousands of miles across the state every day. It's equally critical for weight enforcement officers to properly assess truck weight and discourage overloading," Hagood said. "A failure to do so can result in an accident in seconds and serious and possibly fatal injuries to occupants of multiple vehicles."