Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has teamed up to allow truck drivers with PrePass membership to bypass weigh stations connected with the NORPASS system. WSDOT posted on their website information on the enrollment process for weigh stations and truck drivers. This service adds 23 new weigh stations within Alaska, Connecticut, Washington, New York, Idaho, and South Dakota.
WSDOT operates the NORPASS transponder-based systems in many states. HELP Inc. provides PrePass memberships and has agreed to let WSDOT allow truck drivers to use a transponder to bypass weigh stations at PrePass and NORPASS sites.
Trucks driving on the highway towards a weigh station will be weighed by scales in the road. A small automatic transponder mounted to the truck observes the vehicle’s signals. Transponders permit drivers to bypass weigh stations. Transponders have ten numbers that are used to characterize the truck and carrier. A computer then manages the information taken from the carrier and truck and tracks the weight and size of the truck, motor carrier’s safety reports, and registration.
Depending on the motor carrier’s safety score, truck weight and passes, drivers will get a green light that means they can continue driving. However, if they do not pass they will get a red light which means they need to register at a weigh station and get inspected. Having a transponder allows safe and obedient trucks on the road; it also increases highway safety and lowers travel time.
PrePass and NORPASS are user-friendly and can be used between the two different methods.
Passing Weigh Stations without Permission
Having a transponder installed in your truck is a convenience when you have a deadline. However, there is always a chance that the driver may still be required to pull into a weigh station for several reasons. This can cause the driver to become frustrated as this adds time to the route and may put the load delivery time behind schedule.
It is not recommended to pass a weigh station even with having a PrePass or NORPASS after being instructed to pull in. Doing so will not only cost you more time on the road, but you may also be presented with a fine. If you pass a required pull-in, a law enforcement officer will follow you until you reach the next inspection station. Once arriving at the inspection station, the officer can decide to perform a Level 1 inspection and add more violations to the driver’s record along with violations for passing the weigh station illegally.
Benefits of PrePass or NORPASS
Obtaining a PrePass or NORPASS membership has its advantages. Read below to find benefits of being able to bypass weigh stations.
- Save up to 1.5 – 4.5 minutes per weigh station that is bypassed.
- Traffic at the weigh station is decreased. This lowers the possibility of freight trucks lining up at the station and spilling over on to the off-ramps or freeways.
- Prevents the need to build bigger weigh stations to provide accommodation for added CV overcrowding.
- Inspectors can now concentrate more on higher risk motor carriers traveling the highways and creating a safer roadway for all drivers.
- Motor carriers that carry good safety ratings will not have to go through as many inspections.
Registering for NORPASS
Once you have completed the enrollment procedure, PrePass drivers should have smooth driving ahead by being able to bypass NORPASS sites.