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Law enforcement busy issuing tickets to truckers traveling over Independence Pass

Colorado Dept. of Transportation

The Pitkin County Commissioners Tuesday (10/6) will review a new law that prohibits semi trucks on Independence Pass. This is the first full season with the restrictions.

House Bill 1021 went into effect last August but local law enforcement officials say some truckers are slow to follow it. If semi trucks 35 feet in length travel over the pass, they can be fined up to $1600. Alex Burchetta with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office says even with the law, tickets are still being handed out.

"I would say that we are going out at least once a week and some days, you get three calls for three trucks within three hours of each other."

He says regional and national carriers most often get tickets despite large warning signs. The narrow, winding road and steep inclines are the reason for the prohibition. Often trucks can’t go any farther without damaging natural resources, or their truck.

The Pitkin County Commissioners are meeting with their counterparts in Lake County to discuss the law. 

The Numbers

More reports have been taken regarding oversized trucks on Independence Pass this year compared to last. Keep in mind, the law did not go into effect until August of 2014, so last summer's number reflect a partial season. Here are some statistics from the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office:

05/01/2014 - 10/05/2014: 32 oversized vehicle calls on Indy Pass.

05/01/2015 - 10/05/2015: 37 oversized vehicle calls on Indy Pass.