Increased truck traffic and commercial vehicles not adhering to traffic laws were the main topics of discussion Monday during the monthly oil and gas safety meeting in Harrison County.
Ohio State Highway Patrol District 7 Commander Capt. Corey Davies issued a warning to all drivers working in and traveling through the area that law enforcement will be increasing their efforts to control the increasing commercial truck traffic violations in eastern Ohio.
The district has been assigned a pilot for the area with unlimited availability, and Davies told representatives from local oil and gas contractors the unit will be concentrating on traffic driving left of center, not driving with assured clear distance and vehicles leaving the roadway.
"Those are the violations we are primarily looking for," Davies said. "Those are the ones that are causing the majority of the accidents we are seeing."
Sgt. Greg McCutcheon said the patrol received complaints from oil and gas companies that they were being targeted by law enforcement.
"We are going to send our aviation unit up to do some reconnaissance and find out where the busiest traffic areas are before we start our details," Capt. Davies said. "We are not specifically singling out oil and gas traffic."
McCutcheon said while patrols, portable scales and inspection points are set up in the heaviest traffic areas it was not profiling the industry.
"We are looking at all commercial traffic in the area, steel haulers, log trucks," he said. "We are enforcing fairly and equally."
Harrison County Sheriff Joe Myers said the complaints about truck traffic in the county have continued. He said there would be increased patrols to try and reduce the number of wide load violations.
Myers said escort vehicles were moving the loads at speeds in excess of what he considered safe for the roads and also companies were moving these large loads at night, which is both dangerous and illegal.
"We have had continued calls on traffic running stop signs and traffic lights," Myers said.
Monday's meeting was the last before school resumes for the year Aug. 22.
"The buses pull out of the garage at 5 a.m. and we need to keep in mind that we will have school children on the roads," Myers said.
The next meeting will be held Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. in the Cadiz library.