ROADS/BRIDGES: INDOT to track overweight vehicles

INDOT will begin piloting technology to monitor overweight vehicles' license plates traveling on the state's roadways

January 04, 2016

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) said it will begin testing license plate-tracking technology to monitor “unpermitted overweight vehicles.”

The initiative was spurred by damage caused by an overweight semi passing over I-65 southbound Wild Creek bridge in Tippecanoe County. Crews spent three days repairing the structure.

To monitor violators, a camera system will work in tandem with one of approximately 12 "weight-in-motion" sensors embedded in the asphalt. The sensors weigh vehicles as they travel across Indiana's interstate system, said Scott Manning, strategic communications director for INDOT.

When the sensor records an overweight load, the nearby camera will take a photo of the violator's license plate, Manning said. Since INDOT is not charged with enforcing laws and the program is only a pilot, Manning said INDOT will send an "awareness letter" to the violators.

Manning said it's difficult to assign a number to how often overweight trucks drive on Indiana roads, saying in an email that "vehicles can cause both specific damage, like in the case of the I-65 bridge, and accelerated degradation to pavement or structures." A 40-ton truck, for example, causes as much pavement damage as 9,600 cars, according to a press release from INDOT.