• September 23, 2019

City pulling in thousands from truck route citations - Odessa American: City Of Odessa

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City pulling in thousands from truck route citations

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Posted: Friday, August 23, 2019 5:23 pm

The driver of that truck was issued a citation for the accident, Odessa Police Department Spokesman Cpl. Steve LeSueur said. Each citation can cost a driver up to $191.

This citation is one of 172 violations issued since the start of the year. Added up, the ordinance that allowed for these citations has generated $30,366.50.

The Odessa City Council first approved this ordinance in the summer of 2017 before it took effect in January 2018. It prohibits semi-trucks from traveling city streets, restricting them only to use Interstate 20 and Loop 338. For deliveries in the city limits, truck drivers are required to use the shortest route to their destination.

This ordinance was passed to try and cut down semi-truck traffic within the city limits, LeSueur said. Officials have previously called the through traffic noisy, dangerous and hard on the city’s roadways.

“The whole thing is compliance. The traffic is congested and we’re just trying to reduce the number of serious accidents here,” LeSueur said. “Our goal isn’t to issue as many citations as we can; our goal is to prevent anyone from being seriously hurt or dying.”

Council members made an additional adjustment to the ordinance in recent months to close a loophole prohibiting commercial vehicles from parking on commercial streets, unless they are parked to unload deliveries. This also doesn’t affect trucks parked in hotels or motels in designated truck spots.

Additionally, OPD has two officers specifically designated to inspect commercial vehicles, called commercial vehicle enforcement officers. LeSueur said all officers watch to enforce the truck route ordinance, while these officers focus strictly on inspections. So far this year, they have inspected more than 300 trucks, resulting in more than 150 citations, more than 1,000 warnings, and 39 drivers placed out of service.

There are still many trucks driving on city roads, as indicated by the amount of citations issued, but City Traffic Operations Superintendent Hal Feldman said he has seen a decrease in truck traffic.

“I personally have seen less traffic on Grant [Avenue] downtown because I spend a lot of time downtown, but I’ve also seen less truck traffic on 42nd Street,” Feldman said. “Downtown, I used to see lots of pipe trucks and I used to see lots of sand trucks and that has cut way down, I think.”

John Herriage of Copper Key Realty owns multiple businesses downtown, and also said he’s seen less truck traffic since the ordinance was enforced.

“There’s still more than there should be, but I have noticed a significant decrease,” Herriage said.

Odessa, TX

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