DC: One of a Kind

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DC law enforcement asks: Like traffic cameras? You'll love embedded weight sensors. The (indefatigably camera-obsessed) Washington Times reports:

"We will have a virtual weight station that will be embedded into the pavement," Bill Rice, spokesman for the Department of Transportation, said yesterday. "It's one of a kind in the country, that we know of, because the enforcement element is tied to the weighing."

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  1. Seems like DC is shooting for more than statehood these days, I think they’re trying for Uber-statehood.

  2. indefatigably

    I hate that word, it’s so clumsy.

  3. If I-295 were a private road, would it be all right with y’all for its owners to enforce vehicle weight restrictions? Would this be an “acceptable” way for a private owner to do so?

    As for the device itself, isn’t a passive system like this cheaper to run, less intrusive on traffic flow and safer for all drivers than adding more off-road weigh stations and/or having trucks pulled over on the shoulder on a busy highway for spot checks?

  4. So what happens when the inevitable happens and this thing pulls over Teddy Kennedy?

  5. You guys should check out the situation in the UK.

    There are about 5,000 speed cameras covering every straight, open bit of road in the country.

    One, on Upper Thames Street in London, brings in about a million pounds in fines per year.

    Ever driven 33 MPH in a 30 limit? Smile please! You’re on camera!

  6. Today, it’s weight sensors under the pavement.

    Tomorrow, they’re outside the entrances to McDonalds, airline ticket counters and elementary school classrooms…

    Actually… maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Yeah. Yeah. I’m all for it. Hello Big Brother.

  7. The state does not track revenue or keep statistics on the number of citations issued, said state police spokesman Sgt. Thornnie Rouse

    Why not?

  8. Interesting redefinition of the word “virtual” to mean “actual”. Strange, since Mr. Rice’s language actually serves to make the notion even more creepy.

  9. I agree with those who don’t have a problem with this; an owner of a private road would certainly be entitled to restrict the weight of vehicles traveling on it.

  10. In the case of the private road, those people who were not allowed to ride on it would not have to pay anything for the privelege of not riding. In this case, we all pay whether they ride or not.

    Not a deal breaker in deciding if one approves of this or not, but certainly deserves mentioning in comparing public and private roads.

  11. This technology is not new:
    http://www.mt.com/mt/product_detail/product.jsp?%20=%20&key=k0Mzg4NjM1_D

    The fact is though that roads are designed for a ceartain amount of weight.

    As it stands a single truck does as much damage as 100,000 passing cars.

    As truck weights increase, the road damage increases exponentially.

    If the government restricts the amount of damage to the road surface it means they’re stealing less of my money on maintenance and re-paving (I hope).

  12. If the government restricts the amount of damage to the road surface it means they’re stealing less of my money on maintenance and re-paving (I hope).

    So, state/federal highway budgets will drop with the use of these devices, with an attendant reduction in taxes? I very much doubt it.

  13. Sooooo, if I inflate the tires with helium….,and use a polarized licence plate frame…,and put crinkled tin foil in the grill…?

    I know, but(I hope) you get the idea…..

  14. MPD is checking on down the line. I’m a little overweight and my log’s three days behind. But nothing bothers me tonight. I can dodge all the scales all right.

  15. Scales cause drivers of overloaded trucks to use back roads that are less safe than the major highways.

    As truck weights increase, the road damage increases exponentially.

    Heavier trucks have more axles that spread the weight to more tires. The weight limit is usually 12000 pounds on the steer axle and 17000 pounds on each additional axle. A five axle truck is allowed to weigh 80000 pounds. If you add more axles and keep the weight under 17000 pounds on each, the damage is not exponentially increased as the weight of the truck grows.

  16. Do I have the inalienable right to drive on all public roads with tire chains all year round? Can I drive a tank on them? A steamroller? Can I drive a plow with the blade down with impunity?

    Jaisus. Vuclans.

  17. Dave, some truckers don’t get away with it.

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