Appeal from Judgment of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division, of Westmoreland County, No. 1549 C 1985.
J. Michael Klutch, Pittsburgh, for appellant.
John K. Greiner, Assistant District Attorney, Greensburg, for Com., appellee.
Wieand, Tamilia and Hester, JJ.
[ 360 Pa. Super. Page 206]
The issue to be decided in this appeal is whether the penalty for an overweight vehicle can legally be imposed upon the operator of a vehicle who, although authorized to haul an overweight load along a specified route, has operated his overweight vehicle on an unauthorized highway. We conclude that the operator of an overweight vehicle under such circumstances may be punished as though he did not have a permit to haul an overweight load.
On May 16, 1985, William L. Liver was operating a vehicle, with an oversized and overweight load, on U.S. Route 119 in Westmoreland County, when he was stopped and questioned by Troopers Barron L. Zimmers and Robert W. Menser of the Pennsylvania State Police. Although PennDOT had issued a special permit for the transportation of the overweight load, Liver was found to be violating the terms thereof by operating the overweight vehicle along an unauthorized route. The vehicle was weighed by a certified weighmaster and was found to be overweight by 43,869 lbs. A citation was issued which charged Liver with operating an overweight vehicle on a route not authorized by permit in violation of 75 Pa.C.S. § 4961(b).*fn1 After Liver had been
[ 360 Pa. Super. Page 207]
found guilty and sentenced by a district justice, he appealed and was tried de novo in the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County. Following trial without jury, Livers was again found guilty of operating an overweight vehicle. He did not file a motion for post-trial relief. He was then sentenced to pay a fine of $12,450, plus costs. A motion to modify the sentence was filed and denied by the court. The present appeal is from the judgment of sentence and questions only the legality of the sentence imposed by the trial court.
The penalty for operating an overweight vehicle on the highways of this Commonwealth must be determined in accordance with 75 Pa.C.S. § 4945(a), which provides in pertinent part as follows:
(a) Gross weight violations
(1) Any person driving a vehicle . . . upon a highway exceeding the maximum weight allowed by section 4941 (relating to maximum gross weight of vehicles) . . . is guilty of a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of $75 plus $75 for each 500 pounds, or part thereof, in excess of 3,000 pounds over the maximum gross weight . . . .
(2) If the gross weight of any vehicle or combination exceeds the applicable gross weight allowed under section 4941(a), the fine imposed ...