Stricter Rules, Regulations Placed on Horse Trucks, Trailers
By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma farmers and ranchers are caught in a controversial issue when it comes to the rules of the road and what's legal in and out of state. It's a problem that could cost them.
The laws are nothing new and it's been in the books for years but ranchers and farmers say law enforcement is cracking down on them. That was the purpose of a recent meeting, to get a better understanding of the fine print of the law and not everyone is happy.
"I was told some guys got fined $8,500 and got their rig impounded," Lake Newcomb said.
Newcomb says its horror stories like these that drove him from Elk City when he learned folks were getting ticketed for not following the rules.
"Literally we've been breaking the rules, but nobody knew were breaking the rules because we didn't know what the rules were," Newcomb said.
He's one of dozens of farmers and ranchers who packed a presentation to learn about the laws when it comes to livelihood, farm vehicles and trailer towing and that's been a complex process.
"There's a lot of confusion on what vehicles fall under what category because you have different rules for different weights and stuff like that, which I didn't know till I got here," Newcomb said.
"It's kind of shocking, knowing that these laws have been on the books for a while and people are just now kinda learning about them," Christa Morris with the National Reining Horse Association said.
Morris is a horse show organizer and worries the strict rules could drive visitors away.
"Just thinking about all the obstacles that people coming in from all over North America to show, it might really deter people from coming in to show or even hosting shows here," Morris said.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. Cassingham said the farmers and ranchers have to follow the rules of the road because federal highway funding could be threatened if the laws are not enforced.
"Farmers and ranchers are not a very highly regulated industry in the state of Oklahoma and, again, we want to make sure they understand we are not out to target them," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. Gary Cassingham. "Generally, they could possible receive an inspection if the infraction is severe enough they could receive a citation."
For Newcomb, he's not taking any chances.
"So, until I find out what we have to get done to stay compliant, I'm pretty much going to leave my truck and trailer in my driveway because I can't afford a ticket like that."