Is that truck really safe? NJ highway weigh stations see if they measure up
New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the nation, and many of our highways and byways are clogged with truck traffic at all hours.
You might not realize it, but state troopers are working round the clock to make sure these commercial vehicles don’t get overloaded and are following other safety guidelines.
According to State Police Sgt. Jeff Flynn, all commercially registered vehicles are required to stop at weigh stations that are located on on major interstate highways.
“This is so that troopers can weigh commercial vehicles, and make sure they’re operating in accordance with commercial vehicle laws,” he said.
Flynn pointed out the weigh stations also serve as locations “for certified troopers to conduct commercial vehicle inspections. Those are a little more involved, so it provides a safe area for the troopers to conduct these inspections.”
So why is the weight of a truck so important?
“There are set weights for each commercial vehicle. They have a maximum amount that they’re allowed to safely operate at. If a commercial vehicle is exceeding that weight, it could be potentially hazardous to other motorists, and the driver of the vehicle as well,” he said.
“Those vehicles are built in a way that they can operate safely carrying a certain amount of weight. Anything exceeding that and you’re compromising safety.”
Flynn said there are several weigh stations located all over the Garden State.
“They’re on Interstates. We also have one on the Garden State Parkway in Wall Township. It’s mainly where you’re going to have commercial vehicles operating,” he explained.
He added a new Department of Transportation initiative called NJ PASS allows certain pre-enrolled carriers to bypass the weigh station scales if their safety ratings meet state guidelines.
Weigh stations are typically open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. However, Flynn said those times can change depending on when troopers are assigned there.