Enforcement and Compliance (ECD)

Governor’s Office of Highway Safety grants help ADOT promote safe commercial travel

Governor’s Office of Highway Safety grants help ADOT promote safe commercial travel

I-17 101 traffic interchange

Governor’s Office of Highway Safety grants help ADOT promote safe commercial travel

Governor’s Office of Highway Safety grants help ADOT promote safe commercial travel

February 12, 2024

Enforcement and Compliance Division receives nearly $70,000 for efforts

PHOENIX – Two grants from the Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety will help Arizona Department of Transportation Enforcement and Compliance Division (ECD) officers promote safe commercial travel on state highways. 

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety awarded ECD $36,654 for DUI enforcement overtime reimbursement and to purchase 10 portable alcohol breath-testing devices. The former will help ECD officers participate in multi-agency commercial vehicle DUI enforcement around major holidays and events. Being able to test for intoxication at commercial ports of entry will reduce the need for ECD officers to call on area law enforcement agencies when enforcing laws related to commercial vehicles. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has established 0.04% as the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above which a commercial motor vehicle driver is considered to be under the influence of alcohol and subject to sanctions in federal regulations. This BAC is half of Arizona’s legal limit for adult drivers of passenger vehicles.  

A $30,491 grant will reimburse ECD for the purchase of 10 window tint meters and four laser devices that can tell whether a commercial vehicle isn’t maintaining a safe following distance. Tinting material that makes vehicle glass too dark limits a commercial driver’s vision. Unsafe following distance is a major contributor to crashes and can be a sign that a commercial vehicle driver is fatigued, distracted or impaired. 

“We’re grateful to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for supporting ADOT’s work to protect Arizonans through commercial vehicle enforcement at and around commercial ports of entry,” ADOT Director Jennifer Toth said. 

ADOT’s ECD protects Arizona’s transportation infrastructure and promotes road safety through the inspection of commercial vehicles at the state’s ports of entry and mobile inspection stations. Duties performed by its ECD personnel include conducting vehicle identification inspections and conducting investigations related to vehicle dealers, title fraud and driver license and state identification fraud

The Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety is the focal point for highway safety issues in Arizona. The cabinet agency provides leadership by developing, promoting and coordinating programs; influencing public and private policy; and increasing public awareness of highway safety.

For more information about the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, please visit gohs.az.gov.

For more information about ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division, please visit  azdot.gov/enforcement.

 

ADOT Fuel Tax Evasion Unit honored for red-dyed diesel enforcement

ADOT Fuel Tax Evasion Unit honored for red-dyed diesel enforcement

I-17 101 traffic interchange

ADOT Fuel Tax Evasion Unit honored for red-dyed diesel enforcement

ADOT Fuel Tax Evasion Unit honored for red-dyed diesel enforcement

November 8, 2023

Officers work throughout the state to combat illegal use of tax-exempt diesel

PHOENIX – A team of Arizona Department of Transportation law enforcement officers has won a national honor for its efforts to make sure only eligible vehicles use tax-exempt diesel reserved for use off of state highways.

The Federation of Tax Administrators Motor Fuel Tax Section recently presented its National Chair’s Award to ADOT’s Fuel Tax Evasion Unit, part of the agency’s Enforcement and Compliance Division. The national group noted that other states often tap these ADOT officers’ expertise and ask to come to Arizona to train with them. 

State law allows for a certain type of diesel to be exempt from motor fuel taxes if used by vehicles designed for use off of highways, such as farming, mining and construction equipment. The fuel they use is referred to as red-dyed diesel because of the red dye added by the supplier. Red-dyed diesel pumps are clearly marked as “off road use only.”

The Fuel Tax Evasion Unit’s success benefits Arizonans because taxes generated from gasoline and diesel fuel sales provide most of the revenue ADOT receives to plan, build, operate and maintain the state highway system. It costs all of us when a personal or commercial vehicle makes illegal use of red-dyed diesel.

The four-member Fuel Tax Evasion Unit, which is funded by a federal grant, works throughout the state to deter commercial vehicles from illegally fueling with red-dyed diesel. Officers use equipment that can detect and quantify the amount of red-dyed diesel in a fuel tank. They also check locations that dispense red-dyed diesel to ensure that pumps are correctly labeled with fuel tax rate decals. 

A first-time offender can face a fine of $1,000 or $10 per gallon of the capacity of the fuel tank, whichever is greater, along with possible criminal charges and civil penalties. Those fines will be multiplied if a person has multiple violations.

You can help as well. Please report suspected violations of Arizona’s fuel tax laws to ADOT’s Fuel Tax Evasion Tip Line by calling 877.293.8357 (877.AZFuels) or making an online report at azdot.gov/RedDiesel

ADOT, DPS recognize Brake for Safety Week with focus on commercial vehicle brakes

ADOT, DPS recognize Brake for Safety Week with focus on commercial vehicle brakes

I-17 101 traffic interchange

ADOT, DPS recognize Brake for Safety Week with focus on commercial vehicle brakes

ADOT, DPS recognize Brake for Safety Week with focus on commercial vehicle brakes

August 24, 2022

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation’s Enforcement and Compliance Division and the Department of Public Safety want to remind commercial vehicle drivers to make sure their brakes are properly working during Brake for Safety Week Aug. 21-27.

Brake for Safety Week is designated by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and Arizona’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Task Force, which consists of both DPS troopers and ADOT officers, is participating by setting up mobile inspection locations at the Christensen and Parks rest areas in northern Arizona to focus on commercial vehicle brake inspections.

Through July of this year, ADOT officers working at the state’s ports of entry have recorded an average of 300 brake-related violations each month during commercial vehicle inspections. 

“Having brakes in good working order is a top safety priority, especially when we’re talking about large semi trucks,” said Chief Leah Ray, who heads ADOT's Enforcement Services Bureau. “While our officers routinely inspect brakes as part of inspections at the ports of entry, they will be focused on those brake systems this week in support of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s goal to bring awareness to this issue.”

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is a nonprofit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal commercial motor vehicle safety officials and industry representatives. The Alliance aims to prevent commercial motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities and believes that collaboration between government and industry improves road safety and saves lives.

ECD officers make key stops protecting motorists

ECD officers make key stops protecting motorists

SR24-1

ECD officers make key stops protecting motorists

ECD officers make key stops protecting motorists

By Ryan Harding / ADOT Communications
June 17, 2022

In the tradition of the late Johnny Carson’s act “The Great Carnac,” if I held the envelope to my head and simply said “the numbers six and 200,” what do you think it would mean? 

Well, if I opened the envelope, it would say “the protection of motorists on Arizona’s highways.” Not exactly a knee-slapper as traffic safety is no laughing matter, but allow me to explain:

On May 31, an ADOT sergeant was able to locate a commercial vehicle that was having trouble staying in the lanes along I-10 about 5 miles east of San Simon. The vehicle had been reported over the radio by DPS. After pulling the commercial vehicle over, the officer noted the smell of alcohol in the cab and conducted a field sobriety test on the driver. He then administered a preliminary breath test and found the driver had a blood-alcohol content of .245, which is a whopping six times the legal limit. .04 is the legal limit for commercial drivers.

The sergeant made an arrest and helped pull a severely intoxicated driver operating an 80,000-pound vehicle off the road helping keep travelers safe.

About two weeks later on June 6, an ADOT officer made a traffic stop on a commercial vehicle for bypassing the Topock Port of Entry on I-40 near the California state line. The officer escorted the truck back to the port of entry for a commercial vehicle inspection.

The inspection revealed some red flags including conflicting information on the driver’s travels. Officer Farrington became suspicious and asked if there were any drugs or alcohol on board. The driver denied having any such items but granted consent for the officer to conduct a search.

The officer found three large boxes that contained packaged bricks of what turned out to be cocaine. The total amount of cocaine found was nearly 200 pounds - an estimated street value of $4.5 million. The officer arrested the driver and notified the Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team, who took over the investigation. His instincts helped get illicit drugs off the street.

We’re thankful for our Enforcement and Compliance Division officers making these, and many other, key traffic stops in addition to their primary duties of enforcing commercial vehicle regulations to help keep motorists safe. And that’s no punch line.

ADOT officer finds nearly 200 pounds of cocaine in commercial vehicle at Topock Port of Entry

ADOT officer finds nearly 200 pounds of cocaine in commercial vehicle at Topock Port of Entry

I-17 101 traffic interchange

ADOT officer finds nearly 200 pounds of cocaine in commercial vehicle at Topock Port of Entry

ADOT officer finds nearly 200 pounds of cocaine in commercial vehicle at Topock Port of Entry

June 14, 2022

KINGMAN – Last week, the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Enforcement and Compliance Division arrested a commercial vehicle driver after finding nearly 200 pounds of cocaine in the truck when he attempted to bypass the Topock Port of Entry.

On June 6, an ADOT officer made a traffic stop on a commercial vehicle for bypassing the Topock Port of Entry on I-40 near the California state line. The officer escorted the truck back to the port of entry for a commercial vehicle inspection.

The inspection revealed problems with the travel logs and the driver’s testimony about his travels. The officer then asked if there were any drugs or alcohol on board. The driver denied having such items, but did grant consent to search the vehicle when the officer asked.

The officer found three large boxes of packaged cocaine in the sleeper compartment of the commercial vehicle. The total amount of cocaine, 89 kilos or 198.6 pounds, has an estimated street value of about $4.5 million. 

The driver was arrested and turned over to the Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team, who took over the investigation. The task force comprises officers from several local law enforcement agencies in the Mohave County area. 

ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division protects Arizona’s transportation infrastructure and promotes road safety through the inspection of commercial vehicles at the state’s ports of entry and mobile inspection stations. 

ADOT and Department of Public Safety announce enforcement partnership

ADOT and Department of Public Safety announce enforcement partnership

I-17 101 traffic interchange

ADOT and Department of Public Safety announce enforcement partnership

ADOT and Department of Public Safety announce enforcement partnership

December 23, 2021

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety are entering into an agreement to streamline and enhance commercial vehicle enforcement at Arizona’s ports-of-entry located at interstate and international borders. 

Under this partnership, 89 sworn ADOT Enforcement officers and 49 non-sworn personnel will be assigned to the DPS Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Task Force on a full-time basis. This will enhance officer safety as well as increase efficiency and operational consistency for both agencies. 

The sworn ADOT personnel are uniformed officers certified by the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board. They provide commercial vehicle safety compliance, size and weight enforcement, oversize and overweight permitting and other related enforcement services at ADOT ports-of-entry located near the state lines of California, New Mexico, Utah, and the international border with Mexico.

“ADOT and DPS have a longstanding and beneficial partnership that is dedicated to keeping our highways and freeways operating safely,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “Streamlining ADOT’s Enforcement Services Bureau with a single management structure is a better use of personnel, uses financial resources more wisely and strengthens public safety for everyone who travels Arizona’s roads.”

Col. Heston Silbert, Director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, said, “This will enhance border security at our ports of entry and provide consistent commercial vehicle enforcement to enhance the movement of intra and interstate commerce.”

The agreement is set to begin Jan. 8 for two years initially and after that is subject to annual renewal.

DUI training helps ADOT nab impaired drivers at ports of entry

DUI training helps ADOT nab impaired drivers at ports of entry

I-17 101 traffic interchange

DUI training helps ADOT nab impaired drivers at ports of entry

DUI training helps ADOT nab impaired drivers at ports of entry

August 5, 2021

PHOENIX – After wandering across both directions of Interstate 40 on foot and into the eastbound facility of the Topock Port of Entry this past spring, an impaired commercial driver was taken into custody after an ADOT Enforcement and Compliance officer recognized the signs and symptoms of impairment thanks to DUI training.

The training, which is funded through a grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, consists of the common indicators of someone under the influence, conducting standard field sobriety tests, guidance on DUI investigations and obtaining e-warrants. Currently, 52 ADOT officers have taken one or more of the training classes.

“Being able to identify commercial drivers who come into the ports under the influence and take them off the road helps keep everyone safer,” said Tim Lane, director of ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division. “Though our operations are primarily confined to the ports of entry, our officers see lots of different situations. Having the proper training helps us do our jobs more effectively.”

The training classes are held throughout the year at different locations around the state. Refresher courses are also held for officers who have already completed training. 

“Driving impaired is always dangerous and deadly, but an impaired driver behind the wheel of a large commercial vehicle takes it to a whole new level,” said Alberto Gutier, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “We are glad to help fund efforts to catch impaired commercial drivers at the ports of entry and help keep Arizona’s roads safer.” 

The DUI training paid off earlier this year when a commercial driver, who was determined to be under the influence of methamphetamine, entered the Topock Port of Entry. Sgt. Jill Osgood with ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division was able to recognize the signs the driver was exhibiting due to the training. 

More officers and customer service representatives at the ports of entry going through the training means better preparedness to identify commercial drivers under the influence and take them off the road.

ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division protects Arizona’s transportation infrastructure and promotes road safety through the inspection of commercial vehicles at the state’s ports of entry and mobile inspection stations. 

For more information, visit azdot.gov/enforcement.

ADOT officers combat human trafficking through training, awareness

ADOT officers combat human trafficking through training, awareness

I-17 101 traffic interchange

ADOT officers combat human trafficking through training, awareness

ADOT officers combat human trafficking through training, awareness

February 1, 2021

PHOENIX –  Human trafficking is a growing worldwide problem and one of the most powerful enforcement tools to combat this crime is part of the essential mission of the Arizona Department of Transportation Enforcement and Compliance Division. 

This division is comprised of certified law enforcement officers many of whom are assigned to the various ports of entry on the state’s borders. While operations at these ports focus on commercial vehicle safety, collecting fees and enforcing weight limits, it turns out these ports are a vital and strategic line of defense against human trafficking. 

Commanders and their staff from the Enforcement and Compliance Division at ADOT's commercial vehicle ports of entry are trained to identify warning signs of human trafficking. These can include things such as unusual tattoos, a person’s unwillingness to speak and carrying large amounts of cash without explanation.

Since 2019, this training, which explains the demand for human trafficking and how this crime is perpetrated, has become part of the standard training for ADOT officers. The enforcement division is developing online training so ADOT highway workers will also be ready to spot the signs of human trafficking.

“As the state’s transportation agency, ADOT is in a critical position to help stop human trafficking and we take that role very seriously,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “ADOT’s commitment to transportation safety includes not only drivers, but the victims of this horrible practice.”  

Meanwhile, dozens of vehicles driven by officers with ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division have bumper stickers aimed at directing those who need help or who see signs of trouble to EndSexTrafficking.AZ.gov or 888.373.7888, resources offered through the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family.

Capt. Dave Curry of ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division is a member of the Arizona Human Trafficking Council created by Governor Doug Ducey to help make Arizona a leader in combating this crime.

“ADOT takes several approaches to do our part to end this heinous practice here in Arizona,” Curry said. “From comprehensive training of officers and employees to raising awareness through bumper stickers on our vehicles, ADOT is serious about stopping human trafficking and saving lives.”

If you would like to learn more about how to help stop human trafficking, please visit EndSexTrafficking.az.gov. To report anything suspicious, please call 888.373.7888.

ADOT moving to fully-cashless permitting system for commercial trucks

ADOT moving to fully-cashless permitting system for commercial trucks

I-17 101 traffic interchange

ADOT moving to fully-cashless permitting system for commercial trucks

ADOT moving to fully-cashless permitting system for commercial trucks

December 16, 2020

PHOENIX – When commercial truckers purchase their permits for driving through Arizona online ahead of time or use a cashless method at the port of entry, they spend less time making payments and get on their way faster. 

That’s one reason the Arizona Department of Transportation successfully implemented a pilot program to move to a fully-cashless permitting system. Now, after working with trucking companies that pay with cash to ensure they have enough time to convert to a cashless system, ADOT’s ports of entry intend to go fully cashless on Jan. 1, 2021. 

The move to end the acceptance of cash and checks at ports of entry also supports recommendations by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention to curb the spread of COVID-19 through the exchange of currency.

ADOT’s truck permitting systems, ePro and Transport, have cashless features and nearly 80% of truckers getting permits use those features. But in order to help trucks move through the ports more efficiently, ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division began to encourage the other 20% of truckers to pay for permits online using Apple Pay, Android Pay or credit card.

“We have been getting a feel from the trucking industry on how much they would support this change and the feedback has been positive,” said Lt. Jason Sloan, team lead for implementing the change. “This improvement will help eliminate waste and maximize resources available at ports of entry to process commercial traffic faster.”

The move also allows more officers to be available for enforcement duties instead of having one or more of them make a long drive from a remote port of entry to a financial institution to deposit the cash and checks collected.

This change is one more way ADOT’s continuous improvement process is making more efficient use of time, resources and taxpayer dollars. It will also be implemented at VIN inspection stations around the state.

ADOT is also developing a new commercial permitting system that will support the move to cashless and touchless that is expected to be operational by the end of next year.

ADOT adds to truck screening technology smoothing flow of commerce

ADOT adds to truck screening technology smoothing flow of commerce

I-17 101 traffic interchange

ADOT adds to truck screening technology smoothing flow of commerce

ADOT adds to truck screening technology smoothing flow of commerce

June 24, 2020

PHOENIX – To help freight move efficiently while ensuring that commercial vehicles can operate safely on state highways, the Arizona Department of Transportation has expanded its use of technology that screens moving trucks for weight and identifying information.

This system, used until now at select rest areas including McGuireville on Interstate 17, Sacaton on Interstate 10 and Canoa Ranch on Interstate 19, is now operating at ADOT’s commercial ports of entry along I-10, I-40 and State Route 95 in Parker.

“This truck screening system will allow our officers to focus on the commercial vehicles that need our officers’ attention,” said Jeff Stanhope, deputy director for ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division. “It helps us make better use of our resources and efforts while allowing trucks in compliance to go on their way.”

The technology includes weigh-in-motion sensors, cameras that are designed to read USDOT  numbers and license plates, and message signs. An additional feature at the Ehrenberg and San Simon ports of entry on I-10 also identifies commercial vehicles with tires that could be damaged or in need of repair. The failure of a tire on a commercial vehicle can lead to catastrophic collisions and cause tire debris to be deposited on and along roadways.

As a commercial vehicle approaches the port of entry, highway signs direct the driver into the right lane. When the truck is a half mile from the port, the weigh-in-motion sensors and cameras capture the vehicle’s weight and identifying information and relay it to ADOT Enforcement and Compliance officers at the port.

The computer checks the truck’s credentials against national and state databases. If the truck is cleared and within weight limits, the message boards along the highway direct the driver to bypass the port and continue on. If there is an issue identified with the commercial vehicle, such as expired registration, federal out-of-service orders or required permits not on file, the signs direct the driver to pull into the port for further inspection.

In addition to saving ADOT officers and truck drivers time and resources, the system tracks and stores the size and weights of the commercial vehicles entering Arizona. This data will help ADOT’s Multimodal Planning Division make more informed decisions about the state’s highway system in the future.