Weigh Station Tech Could Make Roads Safer

Two technologies that could reduce wrecks and increase efficiency at commercial truck weigh stations will be inspected by officials in Indiana.

by / October 23, 2012
Photo from Shutterstock Shutterstock.com

New technology being showcased in Indiana could make highways safer and get truckers moving through weigh stations faster. Federal and state officials will inspect two technologies on Oct. 26 that could speed up the truck inspection process at weigh stations and remove noncompliant, unsafe trucks from the road, USA Today reported. The technologies being showcased could aid budget constrained governments that don't have enough law enforcement agents available to enforce trucking regulations.

The first technology that will be previewed is 360SmartView, a high-definition camera system developed by Help Inc. that can read a truck's Department of Transportation number and license plate as it enters an inspection station. The data collected by the cameras is compared against a database compiled from about 90 government agencies. The scan takes just seconds, rather than the several minutes it may usually take for a person to find and write down the needed information.

"This technology allows law enforcement to work with multiple state and federal agencies and identify noncompliant carriers, which helps enforcement officials get bad trucks and unsafe drivers off the road," said Jim Poe, deputy commissioner of the Indiana Department of Revenue.

According to the manufacturer, 360SmartView-type inspections would allow officers to prevent 3.5 to 4.8 percent of crashes, which equates to 15,000 to 21,000 crashes per year.

The second technology being previewed is PrePass, another technology from Help Inc. that is already used in 31 other states, but will be enhanced to allow more data to be exchanged at a faster rate. PrePass is a prescreening service that allows participating vehicles to bypass certain weigh stations and other stops. The technology is similar to the vehicle transponders used on some toll roads, and drivers and trucks with good safety records are prescreened and enrolled in the program.