Trucker Convicted of Assault After Hitting Inspector With Rig

April 24, 2019 by Alan Adler, @AlanAdler

A trucker trying to dodge an inspection was convicted of felony assault three years after intentionally driving his rig into a California Air Resources Board inspector.

Two CARB inspectors spotted an older model red Peterbilt truck without a diesel particulate filter at a Pilot truck stop in Hesperia, Calif., on April 25, 2016. The filter is required by state law to reduce harmful diesel emissions.

The inspectors identified themselves to the driver, Bhupinder Singhbal, who was working on the engine. They asked to inspect the truck. Singhbal did not cooperate and tried to leave the area.

One inspector went in front of the truck to photograph the license plate. The driver then started the truck, revved the engine and jumped the large vehicle forward, hitting the inspector in the shoulder and chest as he was trying to move out of the way.

“The outrageous action of this driver could have severely injured our inspector or others in the area,” said Todd Sax, CARB’s enforcement division chief.

Such incidents are rare. CARB enforcement teams conduct thousands of inspections annually without confrontation, Sax said.

“There are pressures with this job,” Karen Caesar, a CARB spokeswoman, told Trucks.com. “But no one could recall an incident that went this far.”

In the Singhbal case, California Highway Patrol officers pulled the truck over, and CARB inspectors completed the inspection. Singhbal was cited for failing to have a diesel particulate filter and for labeling violations. He later was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Singhbal pleaded guilty Feb. 25 to felony assault and was sentenced to probation. If he successfully meets his requirements, his conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor. The remaining sentence of two years, seven months would be shifted to misdemeanor probation.

Susan Carpenter January 30, 2019
Regulators are using webinars, in-person events, mailers, emails – even a telephone hotline – to help truckers understand how to comply with the state’s strict air-quality requirements.

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