Even if a truck is equipped with a weigh station bypass system, there is always the possibility it may be required to pull into such a facility for a variety of reasons. This can be frustrating for drivers, because this extra time can put a truck behind schedule.
However, if you’ve ever considered trying to sneak past a weigh station, despite being directed to pull in — or considered telling a driver in your fleet to do so — take a moment, and think again. Such actions can cost you a lot in the long run, and not just in terms of a fine if you’re caught.
A new PrePass white paper (hotlink to white paper on the PrePass website) outlines some of the biggest reasons drivers should never try to illegally avoid a weigh station even though signs or their preclearance system has told them to pull in.
In a talk with two truck safety officers, Captain Chris Turner with the Kansas Highway Patrol and Corporal L.T. Catoe with the South Carolina State Transport Police, PrePass found that while fines for illegally driving past a weigh station are not that steep in many cases, such actions can open up wider problems for both drivers and fleets.
For example, if a trucker skips a required weigh station, they could be pulled over by a law enforcement officer, who may direct the trucker to drive back to the weigh station. Once there, the officer could then conduct a full Level 1 inspection, where more fines and violations could be piled on top of what the drivers is already in trouble for.
In other words, this can all add up to a significant amount of time and money wasted.
Furthermore, if an inspection on a truck is performed and violations are found, that can drag down scores in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration programs used to rate trucking operations on their safety and how likely they are to be inspected.
Even for fleets using a weigh station bypass system such as PrePass, this can translate into them having a higher number of their trucks ordered to pull in at weigh stations in the future, rather than receiving a green light to bypass.
The bottom line is that if you’re a driver, getting caught by law enforcement for trying to illegally bypass a weigh station when required to stop in, most likely isn’t going to endear you to your boss. Worse yet, you could be terminated.
If you’re a non-driver, such as a fleet manager, the same thing also applies, but you also need to realize that such actions can affect the safety of your entire company. And that can lead to additional delays because even more of your trucks could be required to stop at weigh stations on the future.
Read more about this in the new PrePass white paper entitled “Thinking About Skipping the Station? Think Again.”