South Carolina Department of Public Safety    

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 24, 2012

Contact: Sid Gaulden

803-896-8409

803-600-8119

 

WEIGH STATION OPENS ON INTERSTATE 95; FIRST OF KIND IN SOUTHEAST

TECHNOLOGY ALLOWS OFFICERS TO DETECT VIOLATIONS WHILE TRUCKS ARE STILL MOVING

                              

COLUMBIA -- The South Carolina Department of Public Safety, joined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and SC Department of Transportation, officially opened a state-of-the art weigh station in Dorchester County today.

 

This facility is the first of its kind in the Southeast, giving officers the technology to detect safety violations on commercial trucks that could lead to deadly collisions on the highways. The new site is fully operational and in use.  

 

The newly designed facility allows officers to better regulate truck traffic passing through the area because trucks are weighed and have their credentials screened against federal and state safety standards while they are still moving at speed on the interstate. This technology is called weigh in motion. The new weigh station also has an inspection shed – the first in the state – built on site with a pit. This allows officers access underneath the trucks to more thoroughly inspect brakes and other operating systems.

 

The SC Department of Transportation provided the land for the weigh station, located near mile marker 74, northbound on Interstate 95 in Dorchester County. The weigh station was built in an unused truck parking area. Construction on the project began January 2011.

 

The station will be maintained by the State Transport Police (STP), a division of SCDPS, which regulates and enforces commercial motor vehicle traffic in the state.

 

The location of this facility is important because the I-95 corridor passes through more states than any other interstate system and is vital to commerce and tourism. More than 26,000 trucks a week pass through the Dorchester area.

 

“This weigh station puts South Carolina out front in enforcing commercial motor vehicle laws, which ultimately pays huge dividends in safety for the motoring public,” said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith. “The technology will benefit safe and compliant motor carriers by enabling them to bypass the weigh station. This saves time and supports more efficient movement of freight through our state.”   

 

STP Colonel Napoleon “Nick” Moore said another benefit of the weigh-in-motion technology is reducing congestion in the facility.

 

“Most weigh stations require every commercial vehicle to stop at the weigh station, which can cause back-ups and also require the trucks to have to re-enter the flow of traffic. The weigh-in-motion facility promotes safety by reducing this congestion and only pulling in high-risk operators.”

 

J. Richards Todd, President and CEO of the South Carolina Trucking Association, said, “Truck operators only ask for fair and uniform enforcement and this new facility will enable the state to focus resources on those operations that most deserve the scrutiny.”

 

More than 10 percent of fatal collisions in the state involve commercial motor vehicles each year.  Detecting size and weight hazards, equipment problems such as brakes and tires, can be critical in keeping motorists safe on the roadways and helping prevent the premature deterioration of the roadways.

 

The I-95 location also has a mainline license plate reader that will capture license plate information and run that against several state and federal databases to check a truck’s compliance with federal safety standards. Cameras also capture an image of each commercial motor vehicle passing through the weigh-in-motion facility and store that information, which can be an invaluable tool for law enforcement.  

 

“We are proud to be partners in this effort because this technology directly impacts the quality of the roads in our state,” said Robert St. Onge, Transportation Secretary for the SC Department of Transportation. When trucks are overweight, they are not only dangerous to other motorists but they cause unnecessary wear and tear on our roads, ultimately placing more of a burden on taxpayers to maintain our roads.”

 

STP currently operates two weigh-in-motion sites in South Carolina. However, commercial motor vehicles are required to leave the highway to be weighed and then re-enter interstate traffic. Those stations are located on Interstate 85 in Anderson County and on Interstate 26 in Dorchester County.

 

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The South Carolina Department of Public Safety includes the Highway Patrol, Office of Highway Safety, State Transport Police, Bureau of Protective Services, the Office of Justice Programs and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame. Our mission is to ensure public safety by protecting and serving the people of South Carolina and its visitors.

 

www.scdps.gov

 

SI/08/12  

 

The Current Weigh Station on Interstate-26

 The Current Weigh Station on Interstate-26

 

 The New Weigh Station on Interstate-26

The New Weigh Station on Interstate-26

 

 

The New Weigh Station Including Inspection Area

 

I-95 Dorchester Weight Station Fact Sheet

 

I-95 Weigh Station Technology