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Sheriff: Truckers hauling heavy loads, speeding are putting drivers in danger

Posted: 11:14 AM, Apr 24, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-01 09:18:49-04
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OKEECHOBEE COUNTY, Fla. — The Okeechobee County Sheriff issued a warning Wednesday to truckers who he says are putting drivers in danger.

At an afternoon news conference, Sheriff Noel Stephen announced the rollout of Operation Weight Watchers, a crackdown on commercial trucks hauling too much weight and speeding.

"Continue to speed, continue to run weights, and I'll catch you," said Sheriff Stephen.

The Sheriff said commercial truck drivers are hauling trash and contaminated soil from Miami-Dade and Broward Counties to the Okeechobee Landfill.

But because the drivers are paid by the tonnage, they're often exceeding legal weight limits and speeding to turn as much profit as they can.

"So this relates to, how much can I haul? And how fast can I get there and back?" Sheriff Stephen said.

The Sheriff said these drivers are passing in no passing zones, not stopping at stop signs, pulling out in front of oncoming traffic, and passing school buses while they're dropping off children.

A WPTV viewer, who does not want to be identified, recorded video of a commercial truck speeding by an Okeechobee County School District bus as it picked up a student.

heriff Stephen said there can be up to 1,200 truck trips to the Okeechobee Landfill every day.

"I hope to get the attention of these companies and drivers before someone gets hurt," said Sheriff Stephen.

As part of Operation Weight Watchers, the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Martin County Sheriff's Office, and Florida Highway Patrol will be on the lookout for these dangerous truck drivers, and ticket them if they break the law.