Washington State Says Weigh Station Innovations Saving Truckers Time

June 19, 2012

Technology allowed more than 1.1 million commercial vehicles to bypass weigh stations in Washington State last year, according to the Gray Notebook, the Washington State Department of Transportation's quarterly performance report.

The new Spokane port of entry has a customized weight enforcement and commercial vehicle inspection solution from International Road Dynamics that integrates vehicle identification, credential screening and data collection.

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 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, say Washington state officials.

"In the grand scheme of commercial trucking, time really is money," said Anne Ford, WSDOT commercial vehicle services administrator.

WSDOT estimates that 39% of all commercial vehicles driven in the state last year used CVISN transponders, an increase of 9.4% since 2008 and 3.7% 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, officials estimate.

"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.

Recently, 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.