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Load-Weighing System Will Speed Up Trucks

August 30, 2000

VENTURA — Truckers will zoom through the county with less hassle once a new weight-monitoring system installed on the Ventura Freeway begins running this week.

Large metal poles were extended over the freeway on both sides of the Conejo Grade last week. Now maintenance crews are attaching wires and connecting transmitters that will help create smoother truck flow by eliminating the need for scores of 18-wheelers to stop and be weighed, said California Highway Patrol officials.

Here's how the system works:

When truckers drive over detectors embedded in the roadway, those who are signed up for what is called PrePass are automatically weighed by sensors in the ground. The weight registers with a computer, which in turn sends a signal to a transponder mounted in the truckers' window.

If the vehicle is within the legal weight, a green light flashes on the truck's windshield and the driver may pass without stopping. If the load is too heavy, a red light flashes and the trucker must stop to be weighed at the Conejo Inspection Facility like all trucks without PrePass.

The system has operated in California since 1995 and, according to Rider, is a great success. There are 99 such electronic weighing systems on heavily traveled truck routes. More than 5,800 trucking companies nationwide have PrePass accounts, she said.

Truckers who comply with all the weight and interstate commerce requirements sail through these inspection points without needing to pull into a facility, which usually averages about 10 minutes per truck but sometimes can take hours.

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