No. 1856 October Term, 1978, Appeal from the Judgment of Sentence and Order Denying Summary Appeal of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County, No. 108 of 1978.
Gerald Jay Pomerantz, Philadelphia, for appellant.
Edward J. Zetusky, Jr., Assistant Solicitor for the City of Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Cercone, President Judge, and Watkins and Hoffman, JJ. Cercone, President Judge, files a concurring opinion.
[ 271 Pa. Super. Page 358]
Appellant contends that his conviction under the Motor Vehicle Code for operating on the highway a vehicle exceeding the prescribed weight limit must be reversed because insufficient evidence exists to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the scales to which the police directed him to proceed for weighing were within 2 miles of the place where his vehicle was stopped. We disagree and, accordingly, affirm.
On March 20, 1978, Sergeant Donald Franklin of the City of Chester Police observed appellant's trailer truck approaching the Commodore Barry Bridge connecting New Jersey with Pennsylvania. Franklin believed the truck was overweight and, while the truck was on the bridge, overtook appellant and directed him to pull over to the curb. Upon request, appellant produced his Pennsylvania owner's card, revealing that, pursuant to the Motor Vehicle Code, the maximum gross weight permitted for his vehicle was 73,280 pounds. Franklin requested appellant to follow him to scales belonging to the City of Chester at 2nd and Dock Streets near the bridge. Appellant complied and Franklin weighed the vehicle. The scales showed that appellant's vehicle weighed 87,810 pounds, more than permitted under the terms of his ownership and the Code. Franklin issued a
[ 271 Pa. Super. Page 359]
traffic citation for the infraction, charging appellant with violation of the Code. On April 7, 1978, after a summary hearing, a justice of the peace found appellant guilty of violation of the Code and fined him $3,750.00 and costs of $10.00. Appellant appealed to the Court of Common Pleas for a hearing de novo. At the hearing, Franklin testified that he didn't know whether the scales were within 2 miles, but had relied on a city map drawn to scale indicating that they were. The court found appellant guilty and imposed the fine previously given. This appeal followed.
Appellant was convicted under the Motor Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq., § 4941(a), June, 1976, P.L. 162, No. 81, § 1, eff. July 1, 1977:
"Maximum gross weight of vehicles
(a) General rule. -- No vehicle or combination shall, when operated on a highway, have a gross weight exceeding 73,280 pounds."
Appellant does not contend either that the Commonwealth failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt all the elements of this offense or that the trial court improperly imposed a fine under the penalty section of the statute, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 4945. Rather, his sole contention is that the conviction must be set aside because the evidence is insufficient to show beyond a reasonable doubt that Franklin ...