New Zealand road authorities are trialing a new technology designed to catch out heavy trucks breaching weight requirements on the sensitive roads of the Shaky Isles and it is a system welcomed by local truckies.
The trial, being carried out by the NZ Transport Agency, will gather data from in-road Weigh-in-Motion devices to quickly and easily identify where to target compliance operations and to identify and locate overweight trucks.
The Weigh-in-Motion sensors can weigh and record vehicles without stopping them and can then transmit that information directly to road enforcement police.
NZ truck drivers have been giving the system the thumbs up because it means truck drivers will have to go through less compliance checks.
One veteran Kiwi truck driver, Chris Vercoe , says the system saves time and is far more efficient than having drivers stopped for 20 minutes or more while police check the vehicle’s weight and the driver’s log books.
“If [the trial] means less stops for our drivers, then yeah, it’s gotta be a good thing,” said Chris Vercoe.
An NZTA spokesperson said the data sharing trial would avoid stopping trucks that were under their weight limit.
“We want to be able to identify and target enforcement stops at just illegally overloaded vehicles, and let compliant vehicles continue on their way interrupted,” the spokesperson said.
About 10 per cent of freight trucks were illegally overloaded, according to the NZTA spokesperson.
Vercoe thought that figure was about right: “There are cowboys out there that think they can get away with it.”
The maximum weight including the truck and trailer depended on the size and type of truck, but could be up to 44 tonnes.
The trial is also helping NZ authorities, to identify the best places for compliance operations and review the design of weight enforcement sites.