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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. D. WAYNE AUSTIN (05/06/83)

decided: May 6, 1983.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE,
v.
D. WAYNE AUSTIN, APPELLANT



No. 54 W.D. Appeal Dkt. 1982, Appeal from the Order of the Commonwealth Court, filed March 24, 1982, at No. 3156 C.D. 1980, affirming the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County at No. 1270 C 1980.

COUNSEL

Anthony J. Martin, Martin & Martin, Monroeville, for appellant.

John J. Driscoll, Dist. Atty., Patrick A. Merlino, Asst. Dist. Atty., Greensburg, for appellee.

Roberts, C.j., and Nix, Larsen, Flaherty, McDermott, Hutchinson and Zappala, JJ. Roberts, Chief Justice, files a concurring opinion.

Author: Mcdermott

[ 500 Pa. Page 621]

This is an appeal from the Commonwealth Court order affirming appellant's conviction for violations of the Motor Vehicle Code.*fn1 65 Pa. Commw. 434, 442 A.2d 832.

Section 4941 of the Vehicle Code prescribes penalties for operating overweight vehicles on the highways.*fn2 In section 4901, the legislature made provision for PennDOT to issue special hauling permits, to allow, under certain conditions, loads in excess of the legal limit of 73,280 pounds to use the highways and avoid penalty.*fn3 Appellant applied for and received a permit to haul a bulldozer on a tractor trailer combination that weighed 143,450 pounds.

PennDOT, by regulation, requires that a truck so loaded be accompanied by two pilot cars and display "OVERSIZE LOAD" placards.*fn4 During transit these regulations were violated by appellant. Instead of two pilot cars, he had one and the required placards were not displayed.

Stopped by a state trooper, appellant was cited for those violations. His truck was then weighed and being overweight he was also issued a citation for weight violations.

[ 500 Pa. Page 622]

Taken before a district justice he was fined $50.00 plus costs for violation of the regulation requiring two pilot cars and failure to display oversize placards. He was also fined $20,400.00 plus costs because his truck was overweight.

On appeal, de novo, to the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County, appellant was again found guilty of all violations.

The central issue here is whether the regulations promulgated by PennDOT are all of a piece and whether, therefore, violation of any of the regulations precipitates the penalties available for all infractions regardless of their purpose. The lower courts found in the affirmative, ...


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