Green Light Weigh Station Preclearance
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Green Light lets truckers roll on
Operating a heavy truck is estimated to cost $1.96 per minute and stopping at a weigh station can take five minutes. As of October 2012, the Green Light program weighed in-motion and precleared trucks 16,000,000 times in the past 13 years. On that basis, truckers have so far saved 1.3 million hours of travel time and $160 million in operating costs as they cleared Oregon weigh stations 16 million times without having to slow or stop. Moreover, according to emission tests, the 16 million weight station preclearance events resulted in trucks emitting 10,672 pounds less particulate matter, 21,328 pounds less hydrocarbons, 51,200 pounds less carbon monoxide, 170,672 pounds less nitrogen oxides, and 30,576,019 pounds less carbon dioxide. The program is currently serving 3,600 trucking companies with 33,000 trucks equipped with transponders. Check Green Light's pollution reduction index.
Over 1.4 million trucks were precleared to pass Oregon weigh stations in 2011.
Green Light precleared its 16 millionth truck at 2:42 p.m. on October 11, 2012, when a 2007 Peterbuilt operated by Ram Trucking, was given a bypass at the Woodburn Port of Entry.
Here's a recap of milestones in the history of preclearance activity:
1 million -- Feb 2001
2 million -- Mar 2002
3 million -- May 2003
4 million -- Apr 2004
5 million -- Jan 2005
6 million -- Oct 2005
7 million -- July 2006
8 million -- Mar 2007
9 million -- Nov 2007
10 million -- July 2008
11 million -- Apr 2009
12 million -- Nov 2009
13 million -- Aug 2010
14 million -- June 2011
15 million -- Feb 2012
16 million -- Oct 2012
Oregon started keeping track of green lights in January 1999 when it had four weigh stations preclearing an average of 51 trucks a day. Now the 22 stations with Green Light are preclearing an average of 4,400 trucks a day. The program is now serving 3,924 companies with 31,104 trucks equipped with transponders.
A motor carrier's truck qualifies for a Green Light transponder if it has permanent Oregon registration credentials, it has three axles or more in combination with a minimum registered GVW of 34,001 pounds, it visits Green Light sites an average of at least once per month, and the carrier does not have an unsatisfactory safety fitness rating.
For more information, call the Motor Carrier Transportation Division at 503-378-6054 or e-mail Susan Coffey in Green Light Administration.
Green Light Customers
Now serving 3,924 trucking companies with 31,104 trucks equipped with transponders.
New Green Light sites now open
Last year, Oregon added one new Green Light site and moved two weigh-in-motion systems to busier locations. In February, a new southbound Interstate 5 weigh station opened for business three miles north of Myrtle Creek in Southern Oregon across the highway from the northbound Booth Ranch scale. The site replaced a weigh station north of Roseburg that closed in 2006 because of area construction work.
Also in 2011, Green Light technicians decommissioned the preclearance systems at the US26 Brightwood eastbound and westbound weigh stations and moved them to the Cold Springs stations in Eastern Oregon where there's a greater need for preclearance. The Cold Springs eastbound and westbound weigh stations are on OR730 near Umatilla and the Washington border. They became operational in August.
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Transponder application now online
It's easier than ever for a trucker to get started in the Green Light weigh station preclearance program The Green Light transponder application
is now one of 67 transactions or records inquiry functions of Oregon Trucking Online. Since the online application is part of the Public Access Menu, a company does not need a Trucking Online password to access it. They just enter their U.S. DOT number and Oregon account number, along with carrier and vehicle information. They then receive an e-mail confirmation that the application has been submitted for approval.
A paper transponder application form
is also still available for those who need it.
A company qualifies for a Green Light transponder if its truck has permanent Oregon registration credentials, three axles or more, and a minimum declared weight of 34,001 pounds. The truck must have been stopping at Oregon Green Light weigh stations an average of at least once per month. Also, the company may not have an "Unsatisfactory" safety fitness rating.
Oregon is currently distributing a transponder manufactured by Telematics Wireless USA Corp. This is the same device used in the country’s two other weigh station preclearance programs – the North American Preclearance and Safety System (NORPASS) and PrePass. The transponder is also designed and used for toll roads, border crossings, and gate entry/exit operations.
Transponders are palm-sized devices that are mounted inside truck windshields. Vehicle identification systems extended over the roadway look for transponder signals, which relay an 8-12-digit number that identifies the company and specific truck. If a truck passes the size and weight screening and a check of the carrier’s registration and safety records, the transponder displays a green light signal that the truck is “good to go” past the station.
MCTD has distributed more than 40,000 transponders in the ten-year history of Green Light. It started in 1998 with a Raytheon Delco transponder that cost the Division $64 each and then shifted to a $39 Mark IV transponder in 2003. The current Telematics transponder costs only $25 each.
Oregon gives companies their first transponder(s) free of charge because Green Light helps weigh station operators manage a growing stream of truck traffic. This no-charge transponder offer is good for the first transponders a company obtains to get started in Green Light. Once the company has its transponders, it owns them and when the batteries die it is responsible for paying to either replace the batteries or buy new transponders.
The Telematics transponder has a 6-10-year battery life. A Salem BATTERIES PLUS store operates a Truck Transponder Service Center for refurbishing transponders at less than $17 each. Read more about the Transponder Service Center
New transponders cost about $30. Contact the Washington State DOT
to purchase transponders.
How to qualify for a Green Light transponder:
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How to Get Started
- Truck has a permanent Oregon motor carrier registration
- Truck must be three axles or more in combination with a minimum registered GVW of 34,001 pounds
- Truck visits Oregon automated weigh stations an average of at least once per month
- Motor carrier does not have an "Unsatisfactory" safety fitness rating
• Submit a Green Light Transponder Application Online
or use the paper application form.
Get a transponder -- they´re free.
• Install transponder in truck.
• Get weigh station bypass IF bypass criteria are met. Bypass Criteria
• Carrier´s account must NOT be suspended
• Truck must comply with size and weight regulations
• Carrier CANNOT have an unsatisfactory safety rating
• Carrier MUST NOT be in an unacceptable SAFESTAT category, as determined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Green Light Benefits
• Save Time - Bypass weigh stations at highway speed
• Save Money - Green Light is a free service. The first transponder is free and there´s no charge for bypassing weigh stations. Plus, trucks get better fuel efficiency and suffer less vehicle wear and tear, while you get to your destination faster.
• Lessen safety hazards created by heavy traffic at weigh stations
• Enjoy better driver retention and easier driver recruitment
• Increase customer service as fewer stops mean quicker delivery
• Qualify for the Trusted Carrier Partner program
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Woodburn Port of Entry, Southbound
Woodburn Weigh Station, Northbound
Ashland Port of Entry, Northbound
Ashland Weigh Station, Southbound
Booth Ranch Northbound Weigh Station
Booth Ranch Southbound Weigh Station Interstate 82
Umatilla Port of Entry, Southbound Interstate 84
Farewell Bend Port of Entry, Westbound
Olds Ferry Weigh Station, Eastbound
La Grande Weigh Station, Eastbound
Emigrant Hill Weigh Station, Westbound
Cascade Locks Port of Entry, Eastbound
Wyeth Weigh Station, Westbound US Highway 97
Juniper Butte Weigh Station, Northbound
Juniper Butte Weigh Station, Southbound
Bend Weigh Station, Northbound
Klamath Falls Port of Entry, Northbound
Klamath Falls Weigh Station, Southbound OR Highway 58
Lowell Weigh Station, Westbound OR Highway 730
Cold Springs Weigh Station, Westbound
Cold Springs Weigh Station, Eastbound US Highway 30
Rocky Point Weigh Station, Westbound
Visit the Green Light Weigh-in-Motion System Status
page to see the status of each of the 22 weigh-in-motion systems located throughout the state. If all dots are colored green, all systems are operational. If a dot is colored red, that system is down. If a dot is yellow, a change in status is coming soon. Click on any red- or yellow-colored dot to read details about what's up, or just scroll down to see the details displayed below the Oregon map on the System Status page.
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Green Light status -- real time
Green Light Weigh-in-Motion System Status
The Green Light team has built a site that shows the status of each of the weigh-in-motion systems located throughout the state. The colored dot here changes to red when one or more systems are down, yellow when a change in status is coming soon, and green when all systems are go. If the dot is red or yellow, visit the Green Light Weigh-in-Motion System Status
page to see which location is affected. Once on that page, click on the red- or yellow-colored dot to read details about what's up, or just scroll down to see the details displayed below the Oregon map. Two Sites Relocated
Green Light technicians have decommissioned the preclearance systems at the US26 Brightwood eastbound and westbound weigh stations. They've moved those systems to the Cold Springs stations in Eastern Oregon where there's a greater need for them. The Cold Springs eastbound and westbound weigh stations are on OR730 near Umatilla and the Washington border.
New Booth Ranch Southbound Weigh Station -
In February 2011, the Oregon DOT opened its newest weigh station and Green Light system at a site three miles north of Myrtle Creek on southbound I-5. This Booth Ranch weigh station is across the highway from an existing northbound Booth Ranch scale. All Green Light Sites
- Carriers are advised to watch the OPEN / CLOSED sign at the entrance to Green Light weigh stations because if a sign reads CLOSED they should not stop even if they got a red light signal on their transponder. In those cases, the CLOSED sign preempts the red transponder signal and excuses carriers from stopping at the station. Although a Green Light weigh station may be manned and appear to be open, enforcement officers will occasionally activate the CLOSED sign when trucks back up in the queue or when officers are otherwise busy processing trucks. Meanwhile, the Green Light system may continue to send red and green light signals to approaching trucks with transponders. Regardless of a red light transponder signal, a weigh station CLOSED sign takes precedence and excuses trucks from stopping. Transponder Battery Replacement
- A Salem BATTERIES PLUS store operates a Truck Transponder Service Center for refurbishing the transponders used for preclearance at Green Light weigh stations. Read more about transponder battery replacement.
All Green Light Sites
- Truckers carrying both a Green Light and a PrePass transponder are learning that neither one works very well when it comes to weigh station preclearance. The problem is that each of the transponders emits its identifying signal whenever it approaches a transponder reader. Even if a trucker is traveling in Oregon with his Green Light transponder mounted correctly on the windshield and his PrePass transponder stored away in the glove box or stashed under the seat, the on-highway transponder reader at the next Green Light weigh station can pick up the PrePass transponder´s signal and spoil the chance to preclear the station. Some may get lucky sometimes so that in Oregon the transponder readers pick up the Green Light signal and in California the readers pick up the PrePass signal, but odds are neither transponder will work. For truckers with both transponders, the solution is simple: Use just the Oregon Green Light transponder. Return the other transponder and ask PrePass to enroll the Green Light transponder identification number in the PrePass preclearance system (call 1-800-PrePass). Then that one device will work in both Oregon and other states. All Sites
- Truckers carrying just a PrePass transponder who are frustrated about getting red light signals in Oregon should understand it is not because of problems with the Green Light system. One time a trucker at the Farewell Bend Port of Entry threw his PrePass transponder at the station as he was being weighed on static scales and yelled to operators that it didn´t work. If he had stopped to ask station operators about the problem, they would have explained that the HELP organization has a restrictive transponder usage policy and doesn´t allow the PrePass transponder to be used in Oregon´s system. Truckers with questions about this interoperability problem can call the Green Light office at 503-378-6054 for more information.
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What is Green Light?
It´s a way for truckers to save the time and money they waste stopping at Oregon weigh stations. It´s a truck weigh station "preclearance" system that´s just like systems you´ll find in many other states. But the Oregon Green Light system is better than most — it´s free! How does it work?
Scales in the roadway weigh trucks in-motion at high speed as they approach the station while automatic vehicle identification devices look for signals from a palm-size transponder mounted inside truck windshields. The transponder contains only a 10-digit number that is used to identify the carrier and specific truck. A computer takes in all the information, verifies truck size and weight, checks the carrier´s registration and safety records, and sends a green light signal back to the transponder if the truck is "good to go" past the station. How much does it cost?
Green Light is a free service available to any company with trucks that frequently stop at Oregon weigh stations. Oregon is giving companies their first transponder(s) free of charge and there´s no charge for preclearing Oregon weigh stations. Transponders have a 5-7 year battery life, however, and eventually carriers will be expected to pay to replace expired batteries or buy new transponders. Batteries can be replaced for $16.99 and new transponders cost $35. Contact Batteries Plus in Salem at 503-581-4890 -- 3045 Lancaster Drive NE, Salem OR 97305 -- for service. Contact the Washington State DOT
to purchase transponders. Will I be subject to more regulatory enforcement if I use transponders?
No. With the Green Light system, ODOT simply records the same license plate information it manually records every time you pull in to a weigh station. (If a Green Light weigh station is closed, nothing is recorded.) Transponder-equipped trucks actually get less scrutiny than other trucks. One of the main reasons ODOT uses the Green Light system is to identify safe and legal carriers, and allow them to continue uninterrupted. As a result, ODOT can concentrate on other truckers that may need attention. How much time will I save "preclearing" weigh stations?
On average, bypassing a weigh station can save 3-5 minutes each time, which really counts in a business where time is money — it can cost more than $1 a minute to operate a big truck. So, how many weigh stations do you stop at in a year? What do truck drivers think of it?
Drivers love it because it´s hassle-free, and because it reduces traffic at weigh stations — improving safety. What do trucking companies think of it?
Owners see the system as a way to save fuel, and wear and tear on equipment. Most of all, they see it as a way for their company to provide faster service shipping goods to customers. And there´s one more bottom line reason they like it — there´s no administrative fees or per-pass charges. Who´s using Green Light today?
Some of the biggest names in the trucking industry have Green Light transponders in their trucks — Distribution Trucking, Federal Express, Gordon Trucking, May Trucking, United Parcel Service, and USF Reddaway, to name just a few. Why is Oregon providing free transponders?
The Oregon Department of Transportation is offering transponders at no charge to companies with trucks that regularly stop at Oregon weigh stations. It´s doing this to boost usage of its Green Light preclearance system and relieve weigh station congestion. Green Light saves truckers time and money, but it also helps weigh station operators manage a growing stream of truck traffic. While you get weighed in-motion and precleared to fly by a Green Light weigh station, a greater percentage of the remaining trucks that continue to stop are more likely to need the weighmasters´ attention.
Oregon´s no-charge transponder offer is good for the first transponders a company obtains to get started in Green Light. Once the company has its transponders, it owns them and when the batteries die it is responsible for paying to either replace the batteries or buy new transponders. Transponders have a 5-7 year battery life. Batteries can be replaced for $16.99 and new transponders cost $30.
Oregon believes that transponder users should be free to use their transponders in other states´ preclearance systems and not be constrained by restrictive usage policies or other institutional barriers to interoperability. Green Light transponder users own their transponders and they´re free to use them in any system of their choosing. Why doesn´t Green Light charge a per-pass fee or a fee for transponders?
In the 1990s, Oregon was fortunate to get a $20 million federal grant to modernize its weigh stations and show the benefits of using weigh-in-motion scales and transponders. Oregon added $5 million in state funds to meet a 20% match commitment. As a result, truckers can use Green Light at no charge. ODOT is saving money by not having to expand weigh stations to handle growing truck traffic. It's already in the business of registering trucks to operate here so it´s fairly easy to also register transponders so they work in Green Light. That´s why there´s no administrative charge for transponders. What happens when I enroll?
ODOT will check your records in an initial screening process. Almost all carriers can qualify for weigh station bypass privileges. Carriers with a 12-month record of exemplary operation in Oregon earn special status as a "Trusted Carrier Partner." They´re not subject to random safety inspections and they´re eligible for additional benefits. The transponder application form asks for an IFTA jurisdiction and number. What´s that?
IFTA stands for the International Fuel Tax Agreement, a program through which truckers can arrange to have their home state collect fuel taxes for all of the states and provinces in which they operate. Truckers enrolling in IFTA get a decal to display on the truck and a license to carry in the cab. At this part of the application form, put your home state and the number on the license you carry in the cab. About Transponders What kind of transponder is used in Green Light?
Green Light uses the Telematics transponder, one of the most common truck transponders in use today. It works in all states participating in the North American Preclearance and Safety System – NORPASS - weigh station preclearance system, and it is capable of working in all states participating in the HELP PrePass system. But users must enroll and agree to certain terms and conditions to use those other states´ systems. Users must also pay for preclearance in PrePass states. In the past Oregon distributed two other types of transponders -- the Raytheon-Delco Type II+ and the Mark IV -- that still work in the Green Light system. What are the terms and conditions of transponder usage in Oregon?
There are five terms and conditions:
• Transponders are to be installed only on designated vehicles and in accordance with ODOT policies.
• Carrier may bypass an open port or weigh station only when the transponder indicates a green light. Exception: Carriers whose vehicles are operating under, or should be operating under, a variance permit other than an extended weight permit must report to the weigh station even if they receive a green light.
• Carrier will report any changes in the transponder application information to ODOT’s Motor Carrier Transportation Division at 503-378-6054.
• Carrier will report any changes in vehicles added to fleets, or removed from fleet operations, to ODOT´s Motor Carrier Transportation Division at 503-378-6054.
• Carrier agrees to allow its registration base state to provide information regarding IFTA and IRP accounts to ODOT´s Motor Carrier Transportation Division for the purpose of providing bypass preclearance to its vehicles. Can I use my transponder to preclear other weigh stations around the country?
You can use your transponder in any other preclearance system in the country, including the North American Preclearance and Safety System (NORPASS) and PrePass. How long will a transponder work?
Transponders have a 2-4 year battery life. At some point in time they will quit working. There is a Truck Transponder Service Center in Salem that can replace transponder batteries so the device can be used another 2-4 years (see next question and answer). How can I replace the battery in my transponder?
Truckers should not try to open the transponder and replace the battery. When the batteries die in your transponders, ODOT´s Motor Carrier Division recommends that they be sent them to a qualified vendor to replace the batteries. Each transponder contains a special battery that is generally only available in large quantities to battery suppliers. Each transponder battery must be replaced with the exact same model, with wires soldered to either end or to the circuit board, or it will not work properly. The blue Mark IV transponder is especially tricky to refurbish. The manufacturer purposefully added a tamper-prevention security feature that wipes out the device’s memory if the battery is disconnected.
A Salem BATTERIES PLUS store operates a Truck Transponder Service Center for refurbishing transponders for $16.99 each. Truckers should contact Batteries Plus in Salem at 503-581-4890, or ship transponders to 3045 Lancaster Drive NE, Salem OR 97305. Read more in a one-page handout about transponder battery replacement.
Where can I buy a new transponder?
The Washington State Department of Transportation is currently selling transponders for $30 each. Upon purchase, the transponder becomes your property and you´re free to use it in any state´s weigh station preclearance system. For more information, contact Washington DOT at 1-888-877-8567. Who do I call if I have problems?
If you need help in Oregon, contact the Green Light team:
David Fifer, Intelligent Transportation Systems Specialist, 503-378-6054 David.A.Fifer@odot.state.or.us
Susan Coffey - Green Light Administration, 503-373-7052 Susan.Y.Coffey@odot.state.or.us Troubleshooting Why do I get a red light on my Green Light transponder?
There are several reasons you may get a red light ordering you to pull into a Green Light weigh station. The Green Light system checks truck size, weight, and height, as well as your company´s safety records, registration status, and highway-use tax account status. A problem with any one of those checks will lead to the system sending a red light and forcing you to pull into the station. Even if everything is in order, you could get a red light signal if you don´t squarely cross the weigh-in-motion scales, or if you don´t maintain a steady speed across the scales. You could get a red light if another truck or car is following you too closely as you cross the scales, or you´re following too closely a vehicle ahead of you. Also, a truck´s tarp flapping in the wind could trip the over-height detector and lead to a red light signal to pull into the weigh station. Green Light Checks:
- As you cross the weigh-in-motion scales, you pass a pole with a device on top that emits a laser beam across the roadway. If your truck breaks the beam, it is higher than the legal limit and the Green Light system is programmed to send a red light signal to your transponder. Even a truck operating within height limits could get a red light signal if its tarp were loose and flapping in the wind because a flapping tarp can break the beam and make the system think the truck is over-height. Weight
- The weigh-in-motion scales are set to err on the side of caution. If your truck is under the legal limit, but very close to that limit, the system may send a red light signal to your transponder and require that you check your weight on the weigh station static scales. Safety
- A truck will get a red light signal on its transponder if the trucking company has an unsatisfactory safety rating. Green Light will also not preclear trucks operated by a company that is participating in the PRISM safety improvement program. Registration and Tax
- A truck will get a red light signal on its transponder if the trucking company´s registration account is suspended for failing to meet some regulatory requirement. This can include failing to pay highway-use taxes or other fees. Why do I get a red light on my PrePass transponder?
The identification number that your PrePass transponder transmits is not entered in the Oregon computer that runs the Green Light system. The vehicle identification system is receiving the signal from your transponder, but it has no computer record linked to it. The people who run the PrePass program, HELP, Inc., will not allow Oregon to enter the transponder number in the Green Light database and use their transponder for weigh station preclearance here. If you have questions about that policy, please contact PrePass at 1-800-PrePass. Can I carry both a Green Light and a PrePass transponder in my truck?
You can, but neither one will work very well. The problem is that each of the transponders constantly emits its identifying signal. Even if you´re traveling in Oregon with your Green Light transponder mounted correctly on the windshield and your PrePass transponder stored away in the glove box or stashed under the seat, the on-highway transponder reader at the next Green Light weigh station can pick up the PrePass transponder´s signal and spoil the chance to preclear the station. You may get lucky sometimes so that in Oregon the transponder readers pick up the Green Light signal and in California the readers pick up the PrePass signal, but odds are neither transponder will work. For truckers with both transponders, the solution is simple: Use just the Oregon Green Light transponder. Return the other transponder and ask PrePass to enroll your Green Light transponder identification number in the PrePass preclearance system (call 1-800-PrePass). Then that one device will work in both Oregon and other states.
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• Enroll in Green Light
• Meet bypass criteria
• Pass a 12-month History of Operations Review
- No Oregon suspensions.
- No IFTA tax license revocations.
- No carrier-related civil monetary penalty actions.
- No more than one late carrier-related tax report.
- No more than one repayment plan to discharge a liability with ODOT.
• Pass a Carrier Safety Record Review
- Driver and vehicle out-of-service percentage is at or below national average.
- No serious safety violations, such as violating an out-of-service order or driver found Driving Under Influence. Benefits
• Weigh station preclearance privileges.
• Trusted Carrier Partner vanity license plate.
• Waiver of ODOT tax bond.
• Trusted Carrier Partners are NOT subject to random safety inspections unless warranted.
• Trusted Carrier Partners are NOT subject to safety compliance reviews unless warranted.
• Inclusion on ODOT´s Roster of Trusted Carrier Partners
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"The Oregon Green Light Program has been an excellent program for Gordon Trucking and our drivers. Our drivers take pride in having a Trusted Carrier plate on their tractor as they feel it validates their efforts at being safe professional drivers. This program is a very good example of how technology can be used to benefit both Oregon and participating trucking companies by saving time and money for all parties without sacrificing safety. ODOT has worked hard to make this a good program and should be proud of what they have accomplished. With over 650 GTI tractors using the transponders we have confirmed positive results to Gordon Trucking and our drivers, both in time and money saved." Phil Hinshaw, Safety Coordinator/Claims Manager Gordon Trucking, Pacific WA
"It costs roughly $1.15 every minute a truck is running, whether it´s on the highway or queued up at scales. You´ve got to stop, get weighed and then speed back up and it can take 10 minutes. That doesn´t seem like a great amount of time in the small picture, but then multiply it by nine trucks sometimes three times a day." Royce Young, Total Transfer and Storage, Woodburn OR "Green Light is a great program that embodies ITS principles such as safety, mobility, and efficiency." Candice Traeger, Director of Public Affairs, United Parcel Service, Seattle WA
"A & M Transport recognizes a tremendous amount of time savings, which converts to cost savings. We save fuel by not gearing down through the weigh station, and then getting back up to highway speed. This also protects the environment by producing less pollution from exhaust emissions. We wish it was nationwide." Hank Perry, Safety & Personnel Director, A & M Transport, Glendale OR
"(Green Light) saves the drivers time in not having to go through all the hassles. Moving on down the road and not having to stop at the scales saves a whole lot of money. Saves the customer (shipper) a whole lot of money when you start looking at that end, too." Scott Porfily, Vice-President, Owens Freight Lines, Prineville OR "(With the Oregon Green Light Program,) truckers save time and fuel that would be spent getting on and off the road and idling in weigh station lines, chances for accidents are lessened, and the state and taxpayers save money that would have been spent on added staffing and weigh station facilities." John Sallak, Director of Safety, Oregon Trucking Associations "May Trucking Company is excited to be named as a Trusted Carrier Partner and to participate in the Green Light Program. We are proud to have earned ODOT´s stamp of approval as a carrier committed to compliance, quality equipment and highway safety. We look forward to continuing to work with ODOT to create efficiencies for our drivers, reduce congestion at weigh stations and make our Oregon Highways the safest in the country." David Daniels, President, May Trucking Company, Salem OR Weigh Station Operators "After working with the Oregon Green Light system for a few years, I find it hard to believe that a larger number of legally operating carriers aren´t using this free system to maximize their profits. The system works very well within its parameters. At freeway speeds, it weighs your vehicle / combination, checks for overheight operations, and cross-references your tax credentials and safety rating. After successful completion of those checks, the vehicle / combination is allowed to remain on the freeway and bypass the scales. There´s no slowing down, stopping, or waiting in line to be checked by an officer. This system saves us time and money because we don´t have to check legal vehicles. It also saves the carriers time and money by keeping the legal vehicle / combination from reporting to the scales." Dennis M. Ruikka, Motor Carrier Enforcement Officer, Woodburn Port of Entry
"Green Light has been a tremendous help in moving traffic through the Ashland Port of Entry. We´re able to focus more attention on the unregistered vehicles that enter from California. I am proud to explain to drivers and company officials that the Oregon Green Light program is not a added expense for them, only an added convenience." Kelly Davenport, Motor Carrier Enforcement Officer, Rogue River District
"I see the Green Light program as a win-win situation for everybody involved. On the trucking industry side, it saves them money by not having to spend time reporting to the scale. On the enforcement side, it serves as a valuable tool by not having so many trucks reporting to the scale and being able to give more attention to the carriers that have not taken advantage of this opportunity. I only hope that more carriers choose to take advantage of this great system." Cody Pursel, Motor Carrier Enforcement Officer, Umatilla Port of Entry
"From the perspective of a 23-year ODOT Senior Motor Carrier Enforcement Officer, I view the Oregon Green Light Program as being a tremendous tool for reducing truck traffic congestion at our weigh-stations, while enhancing our ability to focus on those carriers more deserving of our attention. The majority of Oregon motor truck scale facilities were engineered, designed, and built back in the 50´s and 60´s when commercial vehicle lengths were much shorter, and truck traffic was much less, than what we experience today. Having the ability to do mainline preclearance of commercial traffic helps to alleviate the congestion of truck traffic at our scales, while at the same time affording us the ability to help foster the public/private partnership between enforcement and industry. It also reduces the interface at Oregon weigh stations of slow moving commercial traffic exiting and entering highways with high speed general traffic. Additionally, with less truck traffic entering a scale area, I can spend more time scrutinizing carriers that may have issues which are further in need of my attention. For efficiency, and for safety, I wholeheartedly support the Oregon Green Light Program. I view this program as a definite Win-Win." Michael T. Hovde, Senior Officer, La Grande Field Office
"Having been in the Department as an enforcement person since October 1983, I´ve seen a lot of changes (I go back as far as the old sliding beam scales). One of the most profound changes has been the Green Light system. The information provided by the system has made a huge impact on our customers, and in effect has had the same positive effect on our Department. Green Light is relatively simple to use and the support provided by the International Road Dynamics people, as well as Salem staff, make the system a highly effective tool. One aspect I enjoy is providing information about the system to the trucking industry and the general public. Almost always I see looks of amazement on the faces of people when I demonstrate the system. We´ve come a long way since my early days in the Department." Ben R. Field, Senior Officer, Central Oregon District
"I have been pleased with the Green Light system in Oregon. On the whole, its accuracy has been high, both for weighing and for credentials checks. This is especially important to me because it lends credibility and flexibility to our motor carrier enforcement program. Because of the weighing, recording, and sorting aspects of the system, I am able to deploy more of my resources away from the traditionally heavily staffed work areas and into the field where they are more likely to find violators." Laura R. Troxell, Senior Officer, Woodburn District
"From an enforcement manager´s perspective, the Green Light program is a dream come true. Carriers benefit in time and money saved that would have otherwise been spent exiting to the weigh station waiting to be weighed and recorded by enforcement staff. The other benefit realized is the obvious decrease in traffic congestion in the Port of Entry. This in itself helps by allowing enforcement officers to focus their efforts on the remaining truck traffic." Ben Derby, District Manager, La Grande / Umatilla
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Truckers get a white-knuckle experience traveling Interstate 84 from La Grande to Pendleton as they lose 2,000 feet of elevation and twist through a double hairpin turn at a 6% downgrade on Emigrant Hill, also known as Cabbage Hill. Now a Downhill Speed Information System
cautions transponder-equipped trucks about the steep downgrade so drivers will slow to a safe speed.
Installed in December 2002, this advisory system is the world´s first to display a personalized message that includes both a trucking company name and a recommended safe speed. Speeds for trucks with five axles or more on 6% downgrades, like that at Cabbage Hill, range from 37 mph for trucks weighing 60,000 to 65,000 pounds to 18 mph for trucks weighing 75,000 to 80,000 pounds. The system displays one of these recommended speeds whenever it recognizes a Green Light transponder-equipped truck that was weighed in-motion upstream at the Emigrant Hill weigh station.
Read more about Oregon´s Downhill Speed Information System
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Green Light has earned several national honors:
• 2002 - Top award in the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Team Excellence Program
• 2001 - Semifinalist for an Innovations in American Government award, presented by the JFK School of Government at Harvard University
• 1999 - “Best of ITS” award, presented by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), for “ITS Deployment and Market Development Shown to Save Money”
Green Light started as a demonstration project to show the benefits of intelligent transportation systems for commercial vehicle operations. Senator Mark Hatfield was instrumental in arranging for a total of $20 million to be earmarked for Green Light in transportation appropriations bills passed by Congress for federal fiscal years 1995, 1996 and 1997. Oregon added $5 million through a matching commitment. As the weigh station preclearance program developed, it was subject to an independent evaluation by researchers at Oregon State University. Their final reports and test plans are accessible below: Final Reports
(pages 1-30) and Safety Compliance - Plan 1
(pages 31-72) Road and Weather Information System - Plans 2, 3
(pages 1-20) and Downhill Speed Information System - Plans 4, 5
(pages 21-57) and Audits and Road-Use Tax Collection - Plan 6
(pages 58-89) Simulation Tests - Plans 7, 9
(pages 1-71) and System Availability - Plan 8
(pages 72-111) Carrier Acceptance - Plan 11
(pages 1-91) and Agency Acceptance - Plan 12
(pages 92-140) Mainstreaming and Interoperability - Plans 13, 14 Test Plans
Evaluation Plan Individual Test Plans
Detailed Test Plans: 1, 2, 3 4, 5, 6, 7 8, 9, 10, 11 12, 13
Questions or Comments? Contact Paul Montagne
, Oregon State University, 541-737-3319.
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Green Light reduces harmful emissions
Emission testing by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) shows that trucks are far less polluting and far more fuel efficient when they use the Green Light weigh-in-motion system to avoid stopping at weigh stations. Tests found a 36% to 67% reduction in each of the pollutants monitored – particulate matter, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbons – when trucks stayed at highway speed past a weigh station. Trucks that avoided the deceleration and acceleration necessary to enter and exit a weigh station also experienced a 57% improvement in fuel economy.
The DEQ's tests were conducted in June 2008 using a Class 8 truck on Interstate 5 near Woodburn. The 2004 model-year truck tractor, fueled with ultra low sulfur diesel blended with 20% biodiesel, was pulling a lowboy trailer carrying steel plate with a gross weight of 51,700 pounds.
DEQ found a noteworthy reduction of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides, two pollutants that have significant potential for harm to human health and the environment. Particulate matter, the fine particles that can and cannot be seen in smoke, has been linked to many serious health problems. Nitrogen oxide, the precursor to smog, is linked with serious respiratory problems and it contributes to global warming. According to one 1999 study, reductions in those emissions achieve the highest value per ton of pollutant reduced. Read DEQ's Emission Test Report.
Amount Reduced from January 1999 through
March 12, 2012
Very fine particles that contain microscopic solids or liquid droplets so small they can get deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems. Linked to respiratory symptoms such as irritation of the airways, coughing, or difficulty breathing, decreased lung function, aggravated asthma, chronic bronchitis, irregular heartbeat, nonfatal heart attacks, and premature death in people with heart or lung disease.
Causes eye, nose, and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination, nausea, damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans.
Inhibits the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen to organs and tissues. Persons with heart disease are especially sensitive, as are infants, elderly, and individuals with respiratory diseases. Affects healthy individuals, impairs exercise capacity, visual perception, manual dexterity, learning functions, and ability to perform complex tasks.
Precursor to smog. Linked with serious respiratory problems. Contributes to global warming, formation of acid rain, nutrient overload that deteriorates water quality.
The most prevalent greenhouse gas. Major contributor to climate change.