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Illegal Household Goods Movers Focus of Eugene-area Operation by ODOT, OSP and Lane County SO
09/18/2008
Sally Ridenour
ODOT Public Affairs
Phone: (503) 576-9577
 
Sergeant Ron Martin
Oregon State Police - Springfield
Office: (541) 726-2536

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: ODOT
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In an effort to crack down on unlicensed and uninsured moving operations, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) partnered with Oregon State Police (OSP) and Lane County Sheriff's Office on an undercover enforcement operation today in Eugene. The operation focused on unauthorized household goods movers who advertise on the Internet.

 
Groups and individuals who often advertise on Web sites offer to help people with a move for a fee. Many consumers don't realize that these "companies" don't have legal operating authority, insurance and in some cases, safe vehicles and drivers. Consumers who choose an unlicensed mover whether intentionally or unintentionally may have little or no recourse for loss or damage to their property and may be charged higher than normal fees.

 
In today's operation ODOT Motor Carrier inspectors, three OSP troopers and two Lane County sheriff deputies looked for two things. First, was the mover properly certified with the state to offer moving services? Second, was the mover's vehicle and driver properly registered with the state and was the vehicle in safe working condition?

 
The Eugene-area operation pre-identified pack and load operations then made appointments to meet at a Eugene-area house. They were met by ODOT and OSP before being escorted to a nearby site where ODOT Motor Carrier inspectors, troopers and deputies checked drivers and equipment for any violations.
 
During today's operation:
  • Nine (9) appointments showed up at the site
  • There were 18 truck safety violations issued, and seven vehicles placed out of service for safety violations.
  • Seven (7) citations were issued for No Valid ODOT Permit
  • Nine (9) citations for Unlawful Pack and Load Violations
  • One (1) citation for Driving While Suspended
  • Two (2) citations for Driving Uninsured
  • Two (2) vehicles impounded
 
In addition to the above listed enforcement statistics, two people were arrested on outstanding warrants after showing up for separate appointments. One of those individuals was arrested as a Fugitive From Justice after officers learned he was wanted out of Washington State on a felony warrant for Violation of a Release Agreement on a Child Fondling charge. The second person was arrested on a Parole Violation warrant.
 
In a similar operation in Bend in July, there were six truck safety violations issued. One vehicle and two drivers were placed out of service. Eighteen citations were issued for violations including three citations for No Valid ODOT Permit, 13 citations for Unlawful Pack and Load Operation, and two citations to individuals who drove to the site for Driving While Suspended. One vehicle was towed from the site because the driving arrived with a suspended license.

 
During the first operation held in Canby in April, more than 60 truck safety-related violations were issued, including four vehicles being placed out of service due to critical safety defects. More than 40 citations were issued by law enforcement officers for things such as operating without proper authority to driving uninsured. In addition, officers arrested three people on outstanding warrants and parole violation.

 
Moving is a regulated industry in Oregon. Any company or person that offers household goods moving services must be certified by ODOT.

 
Certified movers are trained to follow industry standards for loading, moving and unloading property and they're the only companies required to charge approved, reasonable rates. Businesses that offer to pack and load property into a rental truck must register annually with ODOT showing proof of general liability and property damage insurance.

 
The best way consumers can protect themselves during the moving process is to hire a certified moving or pack and load company. Information, including consumer tips and a list of certified companies is available on the ODOT Motor Carrier Web site at:
 
http://egov.oregon.gov./ODOT/MCT/MOVING.shtml.