City Prosecutor Settles Overweight Loads Case, Pacific Coast Container, Inc. Fined $460,000.00

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The Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office announced today the settlement of a criminal case against Pacific Coast Container, Inc. (PCC) for transporting overweight loads in Long Beach. Per the agreement, Pacific Coast Container pleaded “no contest” to 47 misdemeanor counts and was ordered to pay fines and penalties in excess of $460,000.00.

“Overweight vehicles are unsafe for our roads,” said City Prosecutor Doug Haubert. “They are dangerous because they create potholes for motorists and they can’t brake in time when traffic slows.”

The City Prosecutor’s Office filed the case on January 4, 2012 after earlier attempts were made to persuade PCC, an Oakland-based corporation, and its affiliate trucking companies to comply with vehicle codes. Unlike most misdemeanor cases where fines are limited to $1,000 per violation, fines for overweight commercial vehicles are based on excessive weight. PCC’s loads, in most cases, were 10,000 lbs or more overweight.

“Some of these loads were dangerously overweight,” said Deputy City Prosecutor Chad Salzman, who handled the case. In a statement in January, Salzman referred to PCC as “the most egregious violator we have seen.”

In addition to being dangerous, companies that habitually overload their cargo try to gain an unfair advantage over the vast majority of companies that operate lawfully. “Strict enforcement of the law will ensure a truly competitive environment,” said City Prosecutor Doug Haubert. “It is not fair to those who abide by the law to compete against those who ignore it. This penalty should send a strong message to other companies that they need to comply with the law, especially when public safety is at stake.”

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