During the 2003 session of the South Dakota State Legislature, motor carrier enforcement issues were the subject of considerable discussion. Some commercial carriers and certain elected officials characterized the Motor Carrier Enforcement unit of the South Dakota Highway Patrol as unprofessional and overzealous. Although their comments were reported by the news media, it is unclear how representative they are of truck operators at large.
Perceptions of motor carrier enforcement may be influenced by numerous factors, including:
the number and complexity of state and federal motor carrier regulations;
a significant paperwork burden;
South Dakotas strong emphasis on vehicle weight enforcement;
questions about enforcement uniformity throughout the state;
personal interactions between motor carrier enforcement officers and motor carriers;
background and training of both motor carrier enforcement officers and motor carriers.
A clearer understanding of perceptions among both motor carriers and staff of the Motor Carrier Enforcement unit would enable cooperative efforts to improve working relationships and address important concerns.