New technology aimed at curbing semi crashes along Interstate 70
Indiana, Illinois, Ohio part of launch
Last Updated: 243 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana is one of three states installing cutting-edge technology aimed at keeping highways safer from crashes involving tractor-trailers.
Indiana, Ohio and Illinois are putting the equipment at weigh stations along Interstate 70, ones of the country's biggest trucking routes.
The equipment, which is based on the electronic PrePass system used to make automatic payments on many toll roads, allows scanners at weigh stations to communicate with transponders in approaching trucks to determine if the vehicle, the driver and the trucking company are up to date on safety inspections, paperwork and tax payments.
Those whose paperwork is in order will get to bypass the weigh station, which is a huge economic incentive to participate.
"We're not making money if we're stopping, so we need to keep the trucks moving and compliant carriers moving down the highway," said trucking executive Dan Frieden.
The state stressed that the equipment won't allow truckers to sneak by overloaded vehicles. There are sensors in the road before the weigh stations to detect that.
"The whole key here is not to have truck accidents, because there's over 6,000 people a year killed in heavy highway truck accidents," said Deputy Revenue Commissioner Jim Poe.
Truck driver Tom McKinney said the program will make things much quicker by eliminating stops completely or by at least avoiding the time-consuming task of gathering up all his paperwork to show to inspectors.
"If you just go in and real quick check, you're going to lose 10 to 15 minutes. If they check you over and bring everything in, you can lose 30 to 45 minutes, and that's money," he said. "When that truck don't roll, I don't make money."
The equipment for each weigh station costs about $1 million, which will be covered by fees paid by trucking companies.
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