AASHTO Journal, 19 December 2014

ktclogo.jpgA rapid inspection system for commercial trucks called Kentucky Automated Truck Screening, which links camera imaging to computer databases, has won the project of the year award from the Intelligent Transportation Society of the Midwest.

The system uses several devices to collect data on a truck as it begins moving up a weigh station ramp. The devices capture an overview image of the truck, read the license plate plus the official U.S. DOT and Kentucky vehicle numbers and check them against state and federal systems.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said KATS was being deployed at nine weigh stations in 2014. It was developed with federal grants and through the efforts of the KTC, the Department of Vehicle Regulation, the Kentucky Transportation Center at the University of Kentucky, and the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division of Kentucky State Police.

“KATS is an example of the high quality projects that can come about when groups work toward a common goal,” said Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock. “We were proud to be a part of this project and do our part to ensure our roads and those driving on them are as safe as possible.”

Before using the high-tech information system, truck evaluations took a lot more time. “In 2013, nearly 3.5 million trucks came through Kentucky’s 14 weigh stations,” the Cabinet said. “But due to limited staffing and the lengthy time required, only about 1 percent of large trucks were inspected.”

The goal was to create a high-tech system that could quickly identify commercial vehicles, and find any weight or safety violations that could pose hazards on state roadways. With KATS, 16 tests are run on every vehicle, and research has shown that inspections initiated through that system find more violations.

“Finding and correcting these violations results in safer roadways and a possible increase of revenue for Kentucky if KATS also spots tax violations for commercial vehicles,” the department said.

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