Wisconsin tackles truck weight virtually

In an effort to catch overweight trucks skipping past weigh stations, Wisconsin will be adding “virtual scales” on I-43.

“We wouldn’t be issuing tickets just based on that information," Sgt. Gary Bauer of the State Patrol told the Janesville Gazette. “A weigh-in-motion scale isn’t as accurate. But we could stop trucks and weigh them on portable scales or the scales at La Prairie Township.”

truck.jpgIt will be the third “weigh-in-motion” scale the state has employed. According to the state, the scale is designed to catch overweight trucks that otherwise might jump off the highway to avoid scales.

According to the state, when a truck drives over the scale, it will weigh it, record the id number and send that information to a computer database which police can use to determine whether to pull over the truck at a weigh station for a more accurate reading.

My question is why? Why spend this money on this technology? If the state is going to pull over trucks that are overweight, that means staffing the weigh stations regularly. If Wisconsin is going to do that, why not just have all trucks pull into the station? If the argument is to identify and find trucks taking alternative routes, that will require resources as well. Do the ends justify the means?

Besides, if a truck drives over the virtual scale and is not found not to be in violation of weight limits, will that truck be allowed to skip the weigh station? Just wondering.

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