AASHTO Journal

Arizona DOT Installing Electronic System to Check Cargo Trucks at Ports of Entry

Saying it was acting "to help interstate commerce flow more efficiently while promoting safety," the Arizona Department of Transportation said it is adding technology at ports of entry that automatically checks the weight and registration of qualified commercial trucks without requiring them to stop as they enter the state.

"Using cutting-edge technology allows us to enforce safety requirements on trucks that enter Arizona while letting trucks that comply with our rules to continue on their way," said Tim Lane, director of ADOT's Enforcement and Compliance Division, which operates commercial ports of entry.

"We're eliminating friction that can be costly for both the trucking companies and the state of Arizona," he said.

capitol0816.jpgThe announcement said ADOT is using Drivewyze Preclear technology, similar to a system in place since 2015 near three of its interstate highway rest areas.

"If we pull over every truck, it causes unnecessary delays for drivers and companies that have complied with Arizona's regulations," Lane said. "This system will allow us to increase enforcement in the cases where we need to do that."

ADOT said that system uses location-based "geofencing" data and roadway-embedded sensors to check truck weights and identify credentials and safety status of trucks that subscribe to the service, as they approach seven Arizona ports of entry from California, Utah and New Mexico.

The driver's cellphone or an electronic logging device in the truck's cab then receives instructions. ADOT said: "Trucks registered with Drivewyze that pass the tests may continue on their way, though like other trucks some will be selected at random for safety checks. Registered trucks that are overweight or have paperwork issues will be instructed to stop for inspection."

It is adding the system in the next few weeks at the following highway locations:
-Interstate 8: Yuma.
-Interstate 10: Ehrenberg near the California line, and San Simon near the New Mexico line.
-Interstate 15: St. George, just north of the Arizona-Utah line.
-Interstate 40: Topock near the California line, and Sanders near the New Mexico line.
-State Route 68 and US 93: Kingman.

For the past two years, ADOT said, it has used a similar system at the McGuireville Rest Area on I-17, the Canoa Ranch Rest Area on I-19 and the Sacaton Rest Area on I-10.

At each, sensors and cameras determine a commercial vehicle's approximate weight and allow checks on each truck's registration status, USDOT number, fuel tax assessment and carrier safety records. Then, a roadside electronic sign instructs vehicles that exceed weight requirements to pull into the rest areas to be weighed and inspected.

ADOT said it has taken other steps in the past year to remove barriers to commercial travel, which include training truckers and trucking firms in Mexico on state inspection requirements to reduce delays at the border without sacrificing safety.

Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.

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