No. 930, Pittsburgh, 1980, Appeal from the Verdict entered on September 15, 1980, in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Civil Division at No. SA 766 of 1980.
Howard T. Gilfillan, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
Stella L. Smetanka, Assistant District Attorney, Pittsburgh, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Brosky, DiSalle and Shertz, JJ. DiSalle, J., concurs in the result. Decision was rendered prior to DiSalle and Shertz, JJ., leaving the bench of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
[ 294 Pa. Super. Page 369]
Appellant, Robert C. Anderson, upon summary conviction under the Motor Vehicle Code for operating a vehicle with excessive axle weight, was sentenced to pay $710 by a district justice.*fn1 Following a hearing de novo before the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Appellant was again found guilty. In this appeal from the judgment of
[ 294 Pa. Super. Page 370]
sentence,*fn2 he asserts three grounds for reversal: (1) the trial court erred in holding him strictly liable for violation of the Code; (2) the Commonwealth failed to sustain its burden of proof; and (3) the police lacked reasonable belief, or probable cause to believe, a violation of the motor vehicle code had occurred. We find no merit to any of these assertions and we therefore affirm the trial court's judgment of sentence.
The facts of the case may be briefly summarized. Appellant, while driving a tri-axle vehicle, was stopped by a state trooper working in conjunction with two weight enforcement agents of the Department of Transportation. The state trooper testified at trial that the vehicle driven by Appellant "was loaded with coal and the tires being squashed out and heaped up in the bed of the truck was coal and it was this officer's opinion that he was in violation of excessive weights." N.T. at 6.
At the time of the stop Appellant had a weighmaster's slip showing a gross weight of 73,260 lbs. or 20 pounds under the statutory maximum.*fn3 However, when weighed by one of the Department of Transportation enforcement agents, the truck registered at 75,000 lbs. gross weight and the third axle registered more than 22,600 lbs. Appellant was issued a citation for exceeding the 18,000 lb. permissible maximum axle weight.*fn4
[ 294 Pa. Super. Page 371]
Appellant's argument on appeal duplicates that of the appellant in Commonwealth v. Hennemuth,*fn5 294 Pa. Super. 360, 439 A.2d 1241 (1982). For the reasons therein set ...