High-tech program identifies overweight trucks

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In an effort to reduce road and bridge damage, truck owners may soon face fines in Indiana for overweight vehicles if the state approves of a high-tech ticketing method.

As part of a pilot program designed to inform state lawmakers, weight sensors put in place somewhere within a 15-mile stretch of Interstate 94 in LaPorte County will activate cameras if a truck violates the weight limit, according to ABC news affiliate WRTV.

After the pilot program gathers information for the next few months, lawmakers may approve of enacting new legislation which would first warn then, on the next violation, possibly fine the owners of trucks shown by cameras to be in violation of weight limits.

“The challenge with overweight vehicles is two-fold, they can cause very specific damage to a structure, but they can also accelerate degradation,” Scott Manning, Indiana Department of Transportation communication director, tells WRTV.

“The pilot program during 2016 will allow us to gather some data to see how this works in a real-time deployed environment, but ultimately, we’d like to take what INDOT learns in the next few months and give that data to the state legislature to make an informed decision about how we can modernize our enforcement technique.”

INDOT’s announcement follows Indiana State Representative Scott Pelath’s road funding proposal in November that calls for an additional $2 billion over Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s $1 billion plan.

Pelath, the leader of minority Democrats in the Indiana House, said revenue the state collects through its gasoline tax should be used exclusively for road funding. Currently, the state’s gas tax revenue is used at the discretion of lawmakers.

(In the map below, La Porte County is shown on the right, outlined in red.)

La Porte County, Indiana