Many commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are unaware that passing the scales is a misdemeanor if the station is operational.
When you’re unsure if you need to stop, it is advisable to err on the side of caution and stop. Otherwise, you could face a criminal charge of passing the scales.
Which Vehicles Must Stop at Operational Scales?
Commercial vehicles with an 11,500-pound Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and a bed longer than nine feet must stop. That includes rental vehicles such as Ryders or U-Hauls. Yes, those are commercial vehicles, but chances are the CHP are not interested in your household belongings. Although, they might take a cursory look to ensure you are not moving drugs or other contraband.
You will likely see a sign before the weigh station proclaiming, “All Daily Rental/Moving Trucks Must Stop at Scales When Open.”
This video, A DOT Scale Lesson, was uploaded to YouTube by Trucking with Double Ds.
The CHP Will Typically Pursue & Bring Back Trucks Passing the Scales Without Stopping
The CHP run these weigh stations in CA, and if they have to chase you to get you to submit to a roadside inspection, they will not be too happy with you—though very few will charge you with a misdemeanor, but it is possible.
CA Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 2813, Lawful Orders and Inspections.
“Every driver failing or refusing to stop and submit the vehicle to inspection when signs are displayed requiring they stop is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
Therefore, the CMV driver should be careful to refrain from making a statement to the CHP before receiving the traffic citation. If the “M” is circled on the citation, avoid answering questions until you consult a CA traffic attorney.
Even when the “I” for an infraction is circled, it is best to evade making a statement that could incriminate you. Allow your attorney to defend you in traffic court. Nowadays, law enforcement officers (LEO) wear body cameras that will record your statement, which “will be used against you in a court of law,” as the Miranda Warning goes.
For more clarification on “passing the scales,” read our blog, Can I Get Pulled over for Passing a Scale in CA, or call the traffic law professionals at Bigger & Harman.
Consult Bigger & Harman, APC, About a Passing the Scales Violation in Kern County, CA
We are the Bakersfield Traffic Tickets Defense Team of Bigger & Harman. We provide CDL holders with a free, no-obligation first-time consultation about traffic tickets, DMV hearings, and CDL violations (including HazMat).
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The DMV Portal CA Commercial Driver Handbook Copyright 2022.
CVC Section 2813, Lawful Orders and Inspections & Section 15210, Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Program.