ALMA, Ark. — Arkansas’ first virtual weigh station that gauges highway trucks in motion is now operating, after years of planning.
The station has been installed on eastbound U.S. 64 in Alma, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2rE386D ) reported. The station monitors drivers of overweight trucks who might avoid the brick-and-mortar weigh station on Interstate 40.
The system measures weight, speed, vehicle class, license plates and registration numbers, and can take a photo of the heavier vehicles. Arkansas Highway Police officers in the district have been trained to use the technology.
“It’s a smart thing to do,” said Russell Melton, a driver with Stallion Transportation Group. “Everybody goes around that scale.”
In Arkansas and across the U.S., vehicles must stay under a certain weight depending on how many axles they have, what they’re carrying and what kind of road they’re on.
The maximum generally is 80,000 pounds for a five-axle semitrailer. Overweight trucks get a $125 fine as well as a measured amount of cents per illegal pound. The Arkansas Highway Department uses those fines for road repair.
Arkansas Highway Police Maj. Jay Thompson said the station is a tool for law enforcement to identify overweight vehicles without stopping them.
“It’s important to know that it’s not an enforcement tool,” he said. “Before we write a citation to anyone for violating the laws, we will use our scales to take a static reading.”
Arkansas Highway Police officers carry portable scales, and trucks also could be directed back to the scale house for a measurement.
Thompson said conversations about the technology began in 2008.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com