Frost/freeze law goes into effect

Heavy trucks banned from county roads

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As temperatures seesaw from spring-like to below freezing, the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners enacted the Frost/Freeze Law on Monday, ordering heavy vehicles off county roads.

The law bans any vehicle or loads weighing more than eight tons from traveling on paved or gravel roads. Trucks may be allowed to carry heavier loads as weather permits. Drivers must seek approval from the county highway director by calling 765-362-2304.

In previous years, the ban has been lifted by mid-April, depending on weather conditions.

Commissioners also gave final approval to changes in the smoking and firearm policies for county employees.

E-cigarettes will be added to the smoke-free policy and smoking is being prohibited in county owned or leased vehicles and equipment.

Employees will also be allowed to carry licensed firearms on their person or in their vehicle unless prohibited by law from possessing a gun. Firearms will be off-limits at the courthouse or jail, and the new rule doesn’t apply to the sheriff’s office, which has its own policy.

“I was asked several times about this, just exactly what we were doing,” commissioner John Frey said before the board voted on the policy.

The change brings the personnel handbook in line with the state’s right-to-carry law.

“Over the years, many employers had rules that said that their employees could not possess firearms, even in their vehicles in parking lots owned by their employer,” county attorney Dan Taylor said. “State law changed and said, you know, you really can’t do that. They have a right to carry.”

Under the original policy, all employees except police officers had to receive the sheriff’s approval to carry firearms on county property while on the job.

The commissioners’ next regular meeting is 8 a.m. March 9 at the courthouse.

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