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MDOT to unveil new 'smart roadside' system

RICHLAND — The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is holding a press conference today on U.S. 49 South in Richland to demonstrate and discuss the implementation of the Smart Roadside System equipment. The system is recommended by the federal government to sort commercial vehicles, allowing enforcement officers to focus on carriers with low safety ratings and out-of-date credentials.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) awarded the MDOT Office of Enforcement a $3.5-million Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) grant.

Since Jan. 1, MDOT reports its officers have inspected 63,432 of the 80,015 commercial vehicles inspected in Mississippi. With truck traffic increasing and resources decreasing, MDOT is utilizing “smart roadside” technology to inspect and weigh vehicles while they are traveling at regular speeds.

Mississippi, using a three-prong approach to cover the entire state and tie into a central database for sharing information, is the first state in the United States to implement this system, according to MDOT.

The area on U.S. 49 South in Richland will have the latest technology in smart roadside applications set up today. Virtual weigh stations are installed on secondary roads used to by-pass the fixed scales and a mobile SRIS van (one of two in the nation) with infrared capability is deployed for use in remote areas or on highways without scales.

Weigh-in-motion (WIM) sensors, license plate and DOT number readers and overhead and infra-red cameras send information and images to data bases using wireless connections to obtain information on a truck that triggers the process at one of the installations.

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