The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) released a statement to explain the purpose of several new “poles and cameras” installed on U.S. 30 in Porter County.
On March 23, INDOT shared a Facebook post explaining how several newly installed weigh-in-motion sensors are being used to gather data on overweight truck traffic.
If you travel on U.S. 30 in Porter County, you likely noticed the new poles and cameras that were installed about 2.5 miles east of State Road 49. We’ve heard some theories circulating about what they are (even a few nefarious ones) so we’d like to take a little deep dive.
Those items, in addition to sensors that were installed in the roadway, are part of a new Weigh-in-motion (WIM) system that INDOT is piloting for research purposes. This system identifies and weighs trucks as they pass by, eliminating the need for trucks to slow down to go through a weigh station.
This research is part of INDOT’s efforts to preserve road and bridge conditions and improve motorist safety. As vehicle weights increase, the impact on pavement and bridge condition increases exponentially. One 80,000-pound truck can cause as much pavement damage as 9,600 cars. The information being collected is being reviewed to ensure accuracy of the sensors and provide recommendations for possible legislative changes regarding any enforcement policies.
Yes, the cameras are license plate readers. No, they are not being used by law enforcement to ticket people.When combined with federal and state compliance information, the system *could* provide a real-time compliance assessment to help law enforcement target overweight trucks. However, as it currently stands, Indiana lawmakers would have to pass a new law to allow for the collected data to be used to issue citations. While this could happen in the future, the data currently being collected can not be used for enforcement purposes, and announcements would be made ahead of time if this were to change.
A similar WIMS is being installed on I-94 near Chesterton in Porter County.
So to sum up, the weigh-in-motion sensors are for research purposes and are not being used for law enforcement purposes (yet).