The Illinois State Police have announced that they’ll be conducting enhanced enforcement details designed to catch truckers who avoid weigh stations.
The enforcement campaign is called “Operation ByPass” and it is designed to target truck drivers who knowingly avoid the fixed weigh stations located in District 5 when the scales are open and operational. Troopers said via press release that the goal of the operation is to “reduce personal injury crashes involving commercial motor vehicles and identify unsafe truck drivers and vehicles.”
There are 6 weigh stations located in the Illinois State Police’s District 5:
*I-55 (north and south) near Bolingbrook
*I-80 (east and west) near Frankfort
*I-57 (north and south) near Peotone
The Illinois State Police reminds commercial vehicle drivers that “ALL vehicles weighing 8 tons (16,000 lbs.) or more shall stop to be weighed. Even if the truck is empty and does not have a load, the driver is still required to stop and be weighed when the scale is open.”
In the press release detailing the operation, troopers say that they learned that some truckers may be using an app in order to help the avoid open scales:
“During our enforcement details, we have learned there is a smart phone application called ‘Trucker Path’. This application is a real time based application which identifies weigh stations/scales throughout the United States. The disturbing portion of this application is it allows users to input data in real time to indicate the status of a scale whether it is opened or closed. Users can also add comments and indicate if there are law enforcement vehicles present at the scale. Unsafe truck drivers can access and input data (texting while driving) into this application while they are operating a commercial motor vehicle. Some unsafe drivers make a decision to bypass the scale based on the information they receive from this application and if there is an indication of any law enforcement vehicle present at the scale.”
In addition to looking for truckers who are bypassing the scales, the Illinois State Police says that officers on Operation ByPass detail will be enforcing all other commercial vehicle rules and regulations with the intent of removing unsafe trucks and drivers from the road. Troopers said that during the enforcement campaign “drivers who demonstrate a lack of understanding of their duties and responsibilities while operating a commercial motor vehicle may be subjected to retesting for their commercial driver’s license at their respective department of motor vehicle facility.”
During two recent three-hour Operation ByPass details that have already been conducted near weigh stations on I-55 and I-80, troopers performed 36 inspections and issued 8 out of service orders and four overweight violation citations. They say that also issued an additional 32 citations, 52 warnings, 24 bypass citations, and 19 bypass warnings.
Additional Operation ByPass details are planned for the future.