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PA Weigh Station Preclearance Act effective January 2023

PA Weigh Station Preclearance Act effective January 2023

Last month, House Bill 1410, the Weigh Station Preclearance Act, was approved by the Governor and set to take effect on January 1, 2023.

The bill was introduced by Representative Mindy Fee last year and will allow third parties to equip the state with technology and infrastructure to operate electronic screening. PMTA supported the bill and wrote the following in a letter Senate Transportation Committee Chair Wayne Langerholc in January:

House Bill 1410 (Fee-R) establishes the Weigh Station Preclearance Program Act and requires the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) to create an electronic weigh station bypass program for commercial vehicles in accordance with the commercial vehicle information systems and networks electronic screening truck inspection and weigh station preclearance standards authorized by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The program shall meet the needs of the Commonwealth,

FMCSA standards and conform with weigh station preclearance programs in other states, including standards regarding safety history credential status.

The PSP shall operate the program at each location where commercial vehicle enforcement is conducted. A preclearance system provider's devices and platform will be used uniformly at each location where the program is in operation. The PSP may establish policies, standards, rules and regulations as necessary to implement the provisions of this act, including authorized devices that meet the requirements for use in the program. The PSP may also consult with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation as necessary for implementation of this act.

Finally, the PSP shall have unrestricted access to roadside event data provided by the preclearance system as part of the program, including real-time event data and real-time sensor data.

Motor Carriers know that freight efficiency drives out our economy and compliance improve highway safety. PMTA supports investments in safety and compliance by participating in inspection and weigh station bypass programs. The ability to bypass enforcement sites rewards the carrier for having a safe Carrier Safety Score (CSA) and investing in technology that will keep both drivers and vehicles safe.

It is important to note that this program does not cost the Commonwealth. The PSP’s costs will be covered under existing operations through PSP’s Commercial Vehicle Safety Division that currently coordinates the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program and Pennsylvania’s vehicle weight enforcement program.  The preclearance system provider shall be responsible for all costs of operating and maintaining the computer software and hardware. Moreover, given that Pennsylvania is one of the few states not implementing an electronic bypass program, it is also possible that Pennsylvania could receive additional federal revenues through the FMCAS Innovative Technology Deployment program with the establishment of the “Weigh Station Preclearance Program Act.”

In conclusion, this legislation will help efficiently move commodities to include vaccines, personal protection equipment (PPE) and other critical products to and from the state of Pennsylvania. By adopting this technology, Pennsylvania will be advancing both highway safety and operational efficiency.

Pennsylvania becomes the 48th state to allow electronic preclearance.

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