The Nebraska State Patrol is using new technology to detect safety issues in commercial vehicles traveling on Interstate 80. The new system also helps keep safe commercial vehicles moving, improving efficiency for trucking companies.
“Really the goal of the new technology is two-fold,” said Lt. Mike Maytum, of the NSP Carrier Enforcement Division. “First, we want to identify vehicles that are unsafe, stop them, and make sure that before they leave, it’s safe to do so. The second piece of that is we want to allow companies that are doing a good job, to continue to do a good job and let them move on down the road to get goods and services moved-on to other places around the U.S.”
The new system includes technology embedded in the pavement of I-80 that detects a flat tire on a commercial vehicle, while the vehicle is moving at interstate speeds. The system then flags that vehicle and requires the driver to exit at the weigh station for the flat tire to be addressed.
“We now have a system embedded in the concrete that takes a read of those commercial vehicle tires as they’re traveling down the road at 75 mile per hour and tells us if there’s a flat tire,” said Lt. Maytum. “We can stop that vehicle, verify that information, and then see that that vehicle is repaired properly before moving on down the roadway.”
The new system also includes cameras that read license plates of commercial vehicles as well as the DOT number of each vehicle before the vehicle reaches the weigh station. The system then checks for safety concerns associated with the vehicle or trucking company. Coupled with existing weigh-in-motion, PrePass, and Drivewyze technology, the system allows most trucks in compliance with weight and safety regulations to continue without stopping at the weigh station.
The system was funded through a grant from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The system is in place at I-80 weigh stations at Waverly and North Platte. A similar system is scheduled to be installed at the Nebraska City weigh station on Highway 2 in the future.