New tracking system allows trucks to bypass weigh stations

WEST FRIENDSHIP, Md - The State Police weigh station on Interstate 70 West can during a normal eight hour shift can see more than a thousand trucks.

Unless they're physically inspected which can take an hour or more, each truck loses from about seven to ten minutes slowing down, passing though the station and accelerating back to highway speed.

If they didn't have to go through that truck could be another five miles to ten miles or so down the road in that same amount of time

Doesn't sound like much but multiply that by say, three stops in Maryland, four in Pennsylvania, three in Ohio and so on that's a lot of time lost.

"Time is money if you pull over your burning fuel you're using up drivers hours of service."   American Trucking Associations CEO Bill Graves says.

But what if you were to reward companies and drivers who maintain safe and properly weighted vehicles by letting them pass.

Maryland State Police weigh stations now have the Drivewyze system.

The system keeps a log of trucks, driver's hours and inspections records.

When the truck is two miles away from a weigh station the program pings a smartphone, IPad or previously installed company tracking device.

At one mile, the trucks records pop on a screen in the weigh station allowing troopers to either allow the truck to pass or to bring them in.

If the truck is fine, the phone is pinged again with a go message.

It allows trucks that subscribe to the service that have good records to essentially keep on trucking..

"Law enforcement actually making the bypass decision we don't make the bypass decision law enforcement sets up the criteria we just measure the credential against that criteria they set ahead of time."  Drivewyse Vice President Brian Mofford says.

On the average about four thousand people die each year in truck related crashes.

But out of 11 million trucks on the road less than a quarter get inspected.

State police are hoping that by have a log of safe operators, they can concentrate on those who consistently run trucks that are not safe.

The system can also save trooper's time and motorist's lives.

"Anything we can look at to make better use of our judgment how to pick the right trucks for inspection or any other enforcement action that's what we're doing here today." State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Commander Captain Norman Dofflemyer says.

Companies can pay about eight dollars a month per truck for a subscription fee to use the service.

Drivewyze says the overall savings in fuel and time will pay for itself.

The state patrol has installed it in all of their weigh stations.

Transportation department police are reviewing it to see if it is something that they can also use.