Responsibility for "overload"

In the winter of 2016, many large enterprises delivering their goods by full-load motor vehicles were faced with fines for overweight (part 10 of article 12.21.1 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation (hereinafter referred to as the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation).

The legislation (FL of 08.11.2007 N 257-FL "On highways and road activities in the Russian Federation", FL of 08.11.2007 N 259-FL "Charter of automobile transport and urban land electric transport") since autumn 2015 provides for a duty and the shipper (or rather, the person carrying out the loading of the goods) to check the load on the axles of the vehicle and not to exceed the permissible norms.

A number of companies to ensure compliance with these requirements of the law, installed axial scales and began to produce control of axial loads. But faced with the refusal of the traffic police and the courts to take into account data from their own axes of the organizations. in the presence of acts contradicting them from the posit scales of the traffic police.

Despite the presence of evidence of compliance by enterprises with permissible axial loads when loading a vehicle, they were brought to justice. The fine ranged from 250,000 to 400,000 rubles.

Previously, there was a judicial practice, according to which the courts canceled the traffic police regulations on bringing the organization to responsibility for the violation provided for by part 10 of article 12.21.1 of the Code on Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation in cases when the organization proved that a different organization was engaged under the contract. 

However, a detailed examination of the case showed the fictitiousness of these treaties and similar attempts to avoid liability were stopped by the courts.

Also, the courts took a negative position on the arguments of those who complained that the section of the road where the advantage was revealed (in Tatarstan, it is usually 829 km of the Moscow-Ufa highway), increased permissible axial loads are applied (and not specified in the acts of the traffic police) and, accordingly, there is no excess of axle loads.

Arguments about the violation of the procedure and the timing of the investigation were also not taken into account by the courts.

Only in a number of exceptional cases, the traffic police’s ruling on bringing to responsibility for a violation, provided for by part 10 of article 12.21.1, were canceled on the basis of the actual absence of a proper administrative investigation: “An administrative investigation should consist of real actions aimed at obtaining the necessary information, including by carrying out an examination, identifying victims, witnesses, and interrogating people living in another locality.

After the determination of the initiation of an administrative offense by the traffic police officer, no administrative investigation was actually carried out, because the evidence of the company's guilt in committing an administrative offense under section 10 of article 12.21.1 of the Administrative Offenses Code of the Russian Federation was obtained before initiating an administrative case and the investigation began.

The only effective way to appeal and cancel the Traffic Police Ordinance on bringing to responsibility for the violation, provided for by part 10 of article 12.21.1 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation at the moment is the use of data from organizations own axes.

When appealing against the Traffic Police Ordinance on bringing to responsibility for a violation, provided for by Part 10, Article 12.21.1 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation, the court’s attention should be drawn to the following arguments:

  1. The company has taken all possible measures to comply with the rules and regulations for the violation of which administrative liability is provided. It carried out a parallel control on the scales when leaving a laden car from the territory of the enterprise. All permissible axial loads were observed.
  2. In the presence of conflicting data, the administrative body did not find out which of the weights, the results of weighing which are in the case (the scales of the enterprise and the scales of the traffic police), give incorrect results.
  3. There was no other reliable evidence that the vehicle exceeded the established axle load limits, and confirming that the company was guilty of an administrative offense under Part.10 of Article 12.21.1 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation, was not available in the case file.

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