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Oil Patch truck enforcement nets violations

An oil truck cruises along Highway 8 north of Stanley in this undated photo.

WILLISTON -- A North Dakota Highway Patrol crackdown on truck enforcement in the Oil Patch resulted in 42 equipment violations that required trucks to be placed out of service.

In addition, 18 drivers were taken off the road for driver-related violations. A total of 263 commercial vehicles were inspected in an enforcement saturation period from Aug. 28 to Aug. 30 that involved more than 12 troopers and inspectors from across the state.

Troopers also identified 36 commercial vehicles with weight violations. The combined fees for those violations exceeded $46,000.

Lt. Jody Skogen said the Highway Patrol holds these saturation efforts to impress upon the trucking industry the importance of the regulations.

"A fatigued driver is an unsafe driver, an overloaded truck is an unsafe truck," Skogen said.

Some drivers had log violations or were found to be working excessive hours, Skogen said. Some drivers were aware of maintenance issues with their vehicles but had difficulty getting them repaired because service shops in the area were booked, he said.

Skogen said the number of violations was up from the Highway Patrol's last saturation event, but this effort also involved more officers. Overall, troopers find that a lot of vehicles are legal.

"There's always a handful that try to stretch the limits," Skogen said.