VANDALIA — Vandalia Police Chief Kurt Althouse briefed City Council on his department’s commercial vehicle enforcement efforts during Tuesday’s study session.
Council has made enforcement a priority in its ongoing battle to reduce the amount of truck traffic traveling through the city on National Road between I-75 and the Airport Access Road and on N. Dixie between National Road and Northwoods Blvd.
In a memo to council, Althouse said three Vandalia police officers were trained at the Ohio State Police (OSP) Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit in May. Two officers have been working overtime focusing on commercial vehicle enforcement. Althouse said that the department plans to send two additional officers for training in the fall.
The OSP Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit operates out of the OSP Piqua Post and covers nine counties including Miami and Montgomery Counties.
Additional training is available at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy in London in week-long Level 1, 2, and 3 courses.
“Each level is one-week long and held in London, Ohio,” wrote Althouse. “Officers learn how to safely inspect commercial vehicles, are educated on commercial vehicle laws, and become familiar with Ohio Revised Codes regulating trucks. They also become familiar with federal regulations.”
There are some restrictions on the type of enforcement Vandalia officers can take.
“VPD officers are not permitted to enforce certain federal regulations on Commercial Motor Vehicles, such as inspecting log books, regulating hours of operations, reviewing annual medical reports for commercial drivers, etc.,” said Althouse. “Officers who are trained are permitted to review Bill of Ladens (sic), inspect commercial vehicles for safety violations, conduct weight enforcement, etc.”
Over the past year the city has installed signage directing trucks to use I-70 and the Airport Access Road instead of National Road. Additionally, the city has prohibited right hand turns from Dixie Drive onto National Road.
Continued growth in the logistics industry west of the airport has council concerned about future levels of traffic, however. The issue was put succinctly in City Manager Jon Crusey’s latest performance evaluation.
“We need to take control now before there is more truck traffic,” council wrote.
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.