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Weigh station innovations saving truckers time

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Date:  Monday, June 18, 2012

Contact: Anne Ford, WSDOT commercial vehicle services administrator, 360-705-7341 (Olympia)
Daniela Bremmer, WSDOT director of strategic assessment, 360-705-7953 (Olympia)

OLYMPIA – More than 1.1 million commercial vehicles bypassed weigh stations in 2011, reducing idle time for truckers and improving the safety of freight hauling throughout the state.

Using technology to advance state travel for commercial drivers is among dozens of topics covered in the most recent edition of the Gray Notebook – the Washington State Department of Transportation’s quarterly performance report.

The Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) decreased travel times for commercial drivers by an estimated 98,000 hours. The system uses weigh-in-motion scales, transponders and Automatic License Plate Recognition (ALPR) technologies to screen trucks as they approach weigh stations. With typical weigh station stops taking about five minutes – at an estimated cost of $10.28 for time and fuel – CVISN saved truckers almost $12.1 million in 2011.

“In the grand scheme of commercial trucking, time really is money,” said Anne Ford, WSDOT commercial vehicle services administrator. “We’re extremely pleased that the system is saving this industry millions each year.”

WSDOT estimates that 39 percent of all commercial vehicles driven in the state last year used CVISN transponders, marking an increase of 9.4 percent since 2008 and 3.7 percent since 2010. Since 2008, the system has saved freight haulers some $51 million and reduced previous delays that would have been encountered at weigh stations by approximately 414,000 hours.

“CVISN is extremely efficient and aimed specifically at keeping freight moving along our state’s highways,” Ford said. “It also improves safety by reducing the number of trucks pulling in and out of the weigh stations.”

The program is a collaborative effort between WSDOT and WSP. WSP operates the weigh stations and enforces laws associated with commercial vehicles, and WSDOT installs and maintains the CVISN system.

Last week, both agencies held grand opening ceremonies at the new Spokane Port of Entry weigh station. The station uses CVISN technologies, including three ALPRs and two weigh stations, to keep commercial traffic moving between Washington and Idaho.

To find out more about WSDOT accountability and view the Gray Notebook 45, or the condensed “Lite” version, visit http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Accountability/.

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