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A worthy. weighty job

Trooper lauded for enforcing vehicular rules

Trooper lauded for enforcing vehicular rules

March 31, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - A commercial truck barreling down the highway hauling a heavy load is a truck that catches the eye of Maryland State Police Trooper 1st Class Brian Kloos.

It's Kloos' job to check out any commercial vehicle he believes weighs more than the legal limit.

Kloos (pronounced Close) recently was named Trooper of the Year for the commercial vehicle enforcement section of the state police. Kloos said he covers Washington and Frederick counties.

His supervisor, Capt. Bill Dofflemyer, said approximately 70 troopers and about 40 civilians are in the commercial vehicle enforcement section based in Linthicum Heights, Md., near Baltimore in Anne Arundel County.

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He said he nominated Kloos for the honor because of "consistency in his work, his work ethic. Anytime he's called by anybody to get anything done, it gets done. He's very dependable."

Dofflemyer said if Kloos is not selected as the state's Trooper of the Year, he will get a Superintendent of State Police Salute and a Division Trooper of the Year pin.

The Butler, Pa., native and Williamsport resident has been on the force for six years. He has two associate's degrees, one in criminal justice and the other in police technology, from Community College of Beaver County in Western Pennsylvania

"I come to work every day and I actually enjoy what I do," said Kloos, 30.

What he does is a combination of on-the-spot math, education and law enforcement.

On a day in early March, Kloos pulled over a tractor-trailer hauling an oversized load of a Dumpster truck. Kloos said he could tell by the model of the Dumpster truck that it weighed about 35 tons, or 70,000 pounds.

He said truck drivers carry weight tickets that show Kloos how much weight they're permitted to haul. Sometimes, even if the weight ticket checks out, he uses portable scales to determine if they are in violation of the law.

"We know what a truck is supposed to be," he said.

Kloos said dump trucks and trucks carrying logs or milk frequently are found to be overweight.

The reason Kloos pays so much attention to the load of commercial vehicles is because an overweight vehicle puts stress on its brakes and the roads it travels on, and will place other drivers in danger of being injured if it is involved in an accident.

Kloos said drivers of commercial vehicles are allowed to have a blood-alcohol level of .04, but if the drivers have a detectable trace of alcohol, he can fine them.

He said he can write a fine of up to $15,000 for various offenses. On an average day, Kloos said, he pulls over about four commercial vehicles.

Kloos doesn't strictly stick to law enforcement. He said that if requested, he will give talks to companies about weight restrictions on trucks.

"We're not here to enforce all the time. We're here to educate and enforce," he said.

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