The City of Midland and Midland Police Department are combating truck driver violators more than ever.
With stops constantly being made for illegal truck routes, MPD is having trouble enforcing another city ordinance.
On Tuesday afternoon, City Councilman J. Ross Lacy went on a ride along with MPD to see the ordinance that law enforcement can’t always necessarily enforce.
As the ride-along went on, the issue became crystal clear.
Lacy and police officers saw dozens of 18-wheelers throughout the city illegally parking on commercial property.
While it’s illegal for commercial vehicles to park in commercial or residential properties, MPD can only ticket them in residential areas.
“We got to have this amended ordinance so that we can go after them on commercial properties,” said Lacy.
Five more minutes into the drive and MPD took Lacy and BIG 2 / FOX 24 to an illegal truck parking hotspot: the Walmart parking lot off of Interstate 20.
When we arrived, there were more than seven 18-wheelers taking up six to seven-plus parking spots.
The Walmart even had “no truck parking” signs all across their parking lot.
“It’s just completely disgusting. Obviously, its posted, but we don’t have an ordinance where we can go and enforce it with the police department,” said Lacy.
Not only does it take away parking for shoppers, Lacy and MPD say the extremely heavy trucks do damage to roads and parking lots.
Minutes after our cameras began rolling on the 18-wheelers, truck drivers began getting in their vehicles and taking off, each giving their own excuse.
“What we need to do is step up our enforcement have the laws on the books that allows our police department code officers to go after these 18-wheelers,” said Lacy.
That’s exactly what city council is planning to do.
On October 1, the newly amended ordinance will be implemented, allowing MPD to fine trucks up to $500.
“What you have behind you, we’re going to start going after that. We’re going to start letting these parking lots go back to property owners, rather than letting them be inundated with all of these 18-wheelers,” said Lacy.
Until the amended ordinance goes into effect, Councilman Lacy says the city will spend the next several weeks informing property owners that they must show a “no truck parking” sign on their property in order for MPD to enforce the ordinance.