Have you ever wondered why commercial trucks have to stop at weigh stations along Oregon’s highways?
CHECKING UP: An Oregon Department of Transportation employee checks a truck through a weigh station during a statewide weight enforcement event last year. This month, ODOT Motor Carrier enforcement officers again conducted checks at stations throughout the state, including the one near Spring Creek on Interstate 84 west of La Grande. Photo/ODOT
In Oregon, commercial vehicles more than 26,000 pounds pay a weight-mile tax instead of the fuel tax that passenger vehicles pay.
The weight-mile tax is a large part of the funding that Oregon uses to preserve and maintain public roads and bridges. In 2008, ODOT collected more than $240 million in weight-mile tax. Weigh stations throughout the state ensure compliance with size and weight laws.For three days last week, the Oregon Department of Transportation Motor Carrier Division conducted an intensive size and weight enforcement effort along the Interstate 84 corridor, including the station near Spring Creek west of La Grande.
Motor carrier enforcement officers at the Spring Creek station checked trucks for size and weight May 13-15. Some 2,395 trucks were weighed over the three-day period and 44 size or weight-related citations issued.
During May 16-19, officers conducted truck driver safety inspections at Spring Creek.
Truckers traveling through Oregon saw ODOT motor carrier enforcement officers out in force. Weigh stations along I-84, U.S. 730, U.S 26 and U.S. 20 were open continuously for 57 hours May 13-15.
More than 26,000 commercial trucks were weighed during the event. A total of 16,914, or about 1 truck every 12 seconds, were weighed by ODOT staff at static scales, and 9,428 trucks were weighed in-motion at highway speed by the Green Light weigh station pre-clearance system.
About 1.8 percent of the trucks received enforcement warnings or citations.
“Although our staff performs this type of work every day, intensive operations like this help reinforce the message that weight and safety compliance are our top priority,” said Ed Scrivner, ODOT Motor Carrier field services manager. “This event also complements ODOT’s on-going initiatives to preserve our highways and bridges.”
In 2008, motor carrier enforcement officers weighed 2,072,855 trucks on static scales. They also processed 1,481,278 trucks that were weighed in-motion at highway speed by the Green Light weigh station pre-clearance system.
“Although the majority of trucking companies operating on Oregon’s highways abide by Oregon law and have compliance-conscious drivers, an intensive enforcement event like this can help identify those who are not,” said Scrivner.
ODOT Motor Carrier enforcement officers will also use the event as an opportunity to educate truck drivers about common compliance mistakes such as unevenly distributed loads or expired permits.
For more information about ODOT Motor Carrier’s enforcement and safety efforts visit http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/MCT