Forget the Kojak with a Kodak or a bear in the air. Ol’ Smokey is going high tech in The Empire State to strike back on overweight rigs.

New York’s transportation department is making an investment in electronic truck inspection equipment, allowing authorities to nab more trucks in violation of safety rules.

A contract is expected to be awarded this fall in which cameras and in-road sensors will be put in along I-84 at the interchange with the state Thruway in Newburgh, near the city at the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. The rest are near Wallkill. Next year it’s set to be installed nearby the Alexander Hamilton Bridge in New York City, which is currently undergoing a major reconstruction effort along I-95, and a customs facility along I-87 near the border with Quebec. New York has already tested the system in Schodack, near Albany. 

According to published reports, cameras will record an image of each truck while the sensors will detect its weight. Inspectors will then either give a red light or a green light if a truck has a transponder, signaling the driver to stop or go on. If it doesn’t, and there appears to be a violation, then trucks will be directed to enforcement officers.

The state is expected to spend up to $5 million on the effort, with $500,000 coming from the New York State Thruway Authority and the New York State Bridge Authority. The state bridge authority reportedly became very interested in the system following a study several years ago that show many overweight trucks were traveling along I-84 during the overnight hours.

The project has the backing of the New York Motor Truck Association.