CANONSBURG, Pa. (AP) – A Florida truck driver has been jailed for four days in Pennsylvania for not being able to pay a portion of the $17,000 fine he got for driving an overweight rig loaded with gas drilling pipe.
Francisco Amareles-Amareles, of Hialeah, was arrested Saturday after police saw him drive his 40-ton rig onto a narrow road with a 10-ton limit.
Because the driver spoke broken English, police couldn’t be sure what he was trying to do. But they believe he mistook Alpine Street in Canonsburg for Alpine Drive, a rural road in Cecil Township.
A local district judge refused to release the driver unless he posted $10,000 to secure his appearance at a Wednesday hearing on the $17,386.50 fine. The judge also issued an order impounding the truck until the whole fine is paid.
Canonsburg police Officer Scott Bashioum told The Associated Press that Amareles-Amareles was driving for A. J. Logistics Transport Inc., of Concord, North Carolina. Calls to the company were not immediately returned Tuesday.
Court records don’t list a defense attorney for the driver.
Police say the whole thing might have been avoided if the trucker had used a better GPS device.
Bashioum said drivers using a commonly available $60 GPS system instead of a commercial system costing about $600 are winding up on low-limit roads that the more expensive system would alert them to avoid.
“The commercial GPS is programmed to keep truck or bus drivers off roads with 10-ton weight limits,” Bashioum told the (Washington) Observer-Reporter, which first reported the arrest Tuesday.
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