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Old 01-16-2021, 04:27 PM   #1
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Payload and Towing Regulations - Enforcement

Question to the Towing Community;

Hypothetical situation - your perspective is needed.

I get into an accident and it is determined by the police that i am exceeding the payload capabilities of the truck albeit by 200 lbs. but under the towing limits. Will I:

- get a warning that I am driving illegally, if in fact this an illegal act?
- get a fine?
- go to jail and any of the above?
- get sued by the other party to the accident?

What do you think will happen?

Thanks
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Old 01-16-2021, 04:34 PM   #2
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How would they ever determine you were over your payload by 200lbs? Tow your rig to a Cat Scale? I would be very surprised that would happen. It would have to be incredibly obvious.
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Old 01-16-2021, 05:26 PM   #3
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By the police, not much, no DOT infractions.
Now the after the fact solicitors is another concern altogether.

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Old 01-16-2021, 05:35 PM   #4
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We have all read countless threads about the “lawyers will get you if...”

Yet in the 15 plus years I have been on this forum, I have never seen anyone post an actual case where exceeding a towing limitation led to an adverse insurance or court decision.

In the OP’s scenario, a lawyer, after the fact, would have to have post accident weights for the trailer, TV, passengers and the fluid levels in the gas, propane, water and waste tanks. Then he would need the “yellow decal” payload sticker number and determine what else the TV was carrying.

Prove all that “beyond a reasonable doubt” coupled with every jury’s bias against insurance companies and I suspect that maybe that is why we never hear of any actual cases...
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:33 AM   #5
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Since we're considering worst case scenarios...

If you were in a fatal or very serious accident with injuries, and it was determined that being overloaded was a proximate cause of the accident, I suspect you would be subject to options 2,3,4 in your list.

Maybe buy a bigger truck?
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:39 AM   #6
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IMHO, I don't think I'd want to be the "test" case here ... gambling is not my favorite sport. However, too each his own ... besides that no one died - right?
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:54 AM   #7
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If the accident is a fender bender, then you'll most-likely drive away and no real investigation will be done. If the accident is fatal, you will not be driving away before a very thorough investigation and may not be driving away at all. The thorough investigation will uncover that you are over weight. Then the lawyers get involved.

I have a friend that investigates serious road accidents for one of the states out west. You would be amazed at how thorough the investigations are and what they look for. They don't miss weights.
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:54 AM   #8
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AARRGGHH,

the Police never have the ability to test for this nor do they have the jurisdiction to monitor/fine people

the measurement are not black and white. Do not worry about this non-existent hypothetical situation
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Old 01-17-2021, 11:09 AM   #9
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waninae39, come to Manitoba and you will find that you are very likely to be fined by the Police. The police HAVE the juristiction to stop/fine you for breaches of the highway traffic act. This is not a non-existent hypothetical situation. Insurance companies and lawyers are prepared to go to court, and they might not win, but you will be BROKE.
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Old 01-17-2021, 11:15 AM   #10
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To the OP, contact MPI with this question. You might also want to check with Manitoba Highway inspectors and the RCMP. They can tell you all the correct rules, and will very likely know other provinces rules. The US can be very different. If you are below all weight limits, then you have nothing to worry about. If you go beyond, take your chances!
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Old 01-17-2021, 11:18 AM   #11
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Why push the limits at all? Life is too short for playing chicken with the numbers. Get a TV that will meet your needs and enjoy camping.
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Old 01-17-2021, 11:33 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by KK4YZ View Post
Why push the limits at all? Life is too short for playing chicken with the numbers. Get a TV that will meet your needs and enjoy camping.
+1

I'm with you on this one.
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Old 01-17-2021, 11:50 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waninae39 View Post
aarrgghh,

the police never have the ability to test for this nor do they have the jurisdiction to monitor/fine people

the measurement are not black and white. Do not worry about this non-existent hypothetical situation
lol
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Old 01-17-2021, 01:04 PM   #14
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I do not think there is an actual law that says a passenger vehicle cannot run over payload.
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Old 01-17-2021, 01:50 PM   #15
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A local police authority does not measure passengers vehicles for load/weight/towing capacities.

Many law enforcement agencies have personnel who specialize in trucking and department of transportation regulations and enforcement. Those enforcement activities are usually geared toward truck and commercial vehicles operating in their jurisdicions.

If you are involved in a fatality related collision a jurisdiction can bring to the scene or request various measuring devices and or your vehicle will be impounded as evidence and can thereby be delivered to a weight scale.
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Old 01-17-2021, 02:33 PM   #16
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I now see that you are in Canada. I am going to change my answer that I posted too quickley above to: I do not know.
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Old 01-17-2021, 02:35 PM   #17
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I've noticed that a lot too, Bill.... what I can do here in Tennessee, is different than what I might could do across the state line in Virginia... but what I would do in Canada is different than what might do in the US, because I don't want to cause an international incident....
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Old 01-17-2021, 04:07 PM   #18
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I now see that you are in Canada. I am going to change my answer that I posted too quickley above to: I do not know.
Canadian provinces have regulations harmonized with Transport Canada, which is harmonized with the NHTSA in the US. As a result, laws are designed to facilitate interstate and interprovincial travel. Penalties vary, but the regulations are necessarily similar.

The regulations for weights for private vehicles, eg not commercial carriers, focus on axle and tire weight ratings. There are very few jurisdictions that focus on GVWR for private vehicles. And they certainly don’t focus on tow ratings. Where I live we have some of the strictest standards in North America, due to our mountainous terrain, climatic conditions, and history of heavy towing, eg coastal forestry. But we don’t regulate private vehicle tow ratings.

Enforcement re weights is usually up to commercial transport divisions of government, not the police. Here in BC, that means the CSVE (commercial vehicle safety enforcement) division.

Different jurisdictions (like Manitoba, referenced above) regulate transport weights They focus on road and bridge limits, not vehicle ratings, and are particularly focused on reduced road limits during spring breakup. Limits are actual weights, not rated weights in these cases.

Separate from all of the ticketing questions, you can be sued if you cause a crash. Being over or under a weight rating is neither an automatic reason to be found guilty, nor a sound defence strategy.
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Old 01-17-2021, 06:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2916s View Post
We have all read countless threads about the “lawyers will get you if...”

Yet in the 15 plus years I have been on this forum, I have never seen anyone post an actual case where exceeding a towing limitation led to an adverse insurance or court decision.

In the OP’s scenario, a lawyer, after the fact, would have to have post accident weights for the trailer, TV, passengers and the fluid levels in the gas, propane, water and waste tanks. Then he would need the “yellow decal” payload sticker number and determine what else the TV was carrying.

Prove all that “beyond a reasonable doubt” coupled with every jury’s bias against insurance companies and I suspect that maybe that is why we never hear of any actual cases...
You must have missed them, I've seen four examples in the last 6 months or so where a post described civil consequences of vehicles being overloaded.

The hypothetical of being 200 lb over limit is not going to trigger this scenario for reasons already mentioned.
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Old 01-17-2021, 10:06 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by CBWELL View Post
waninae39, come to Manitoba and you will find that you are very likely to be fined by the Police. The police HAVE the juristiction to stop/fine you for breaches of the highway traffic act. This is not a non-existent hypothetical situation. Insurance companies and lawyers are prepared to go to court, and they might not win, but you will be BROKE.
I am from Manitoba. Maybe we should talk. ericjensen1000@outlook.com
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