The Georgia Department of Motor Vehicle Safety’s (DMVS) Law Enforcement Division has several unique roles and missions. Prior to the creation of DMVS and its merger in 2001, two other agencies each had some of these responsibilities.
The Department is the State Lead Agency for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP). Under this program, the DMVS conducts safety inspections of commercial motor vehicles (primarily trucks and buses), inspects highway shipments of hazardous materials, and performs compliance reviews (safety performance audits) on motor carriers. The Department adopts and enforces driver and vehicle safety regulations and hazardous materials regulations as part of this program.
DMVS also enforces laws and regulations that govern vehicle size (height, width, and length) and vehicle weight. The Department operates 19 permanent weight and inspection stations throughout the State, primarily on Interstate highways. The stations are equipped with “weigh in motion” systems to screen vehicles. Selected vehicles are then weighed and measured to determine compliance. On bypass and side roads, DMVS Officers use portable scales to weigh selected vehicles.
Another role for the Law Enforcement Division is the enforcement of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes in the metropolitan Atlanta area. DMVS Officers patrol the highways, identifying and apprehending those who use the HOV lanes improperly.
The Law Enforcement Division also performs a number of other tasks, including inspecting diesel powered over-the-road vehicles for dyed fuel (indicating the use of “off-road” diesel), rendering assistance at accident scenes, providing aid in disasters, and an aggressive public outreach program.
DMVS Law Enforcement Offices are trained and certified in accordance with standards of the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council, and have full arrest powers in the performance of their duties. In addition, because of the detailed regulations governing commercial vehicle and driver safety, size, weight, and hazardous materials, DMVS Officers spend many hours each year in training in these specialized topics.
Although the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety is a very young law Enforcement Agency, the Law Enforcement Division is well poised to be one of the premiere Law Enforcement Units in the Southeast.