Up ahead is a weigh station and a seemingly endless string of red taillights from trucks backed out onto the highway. You are mentally calculating the time this is going to add to your journey. Surely the troopers will understand if you pull out into the left lane and pass this mess. They clearly have enough on their hands.

Wrong.

Passing an open weigh station or inspection site – unless you have a green light from a bypass program like PrePass – will bring you a ticket, a fine and maybe the loss of your bypass privileges.

Yes, an overflowing weigh station means police and inspectors have their hands full. Don’t add to their problems by requiring a trooper to jump in his car and pull you over for skipping the scales! You can be certain that encounter will not be friendly. Plus, changing lanes in heavy traffic is just plain unsafe.

It could be that a truck broke down within the weigh station and a backlog grew. Or maybe the inspection team is short-staffed for the volume of traffic. Often, when that occurs, the weigh station will send a trooper out to wave trucks on past until the backlog is cleared. Law enforcement doesn’t want delays or safety issues from clogged lanes any more than you do.

Here’s what you should know and what to do if you approach a weigh station where trucks are backed up:

  • Let the weigh station make that call about what to do. Not you.
  • Stay, patiently, in the backed-up lane until you receive law enforcement direction to move on.
  • Watch your behind and use your flashers to alert traffic to the slowdown.
  • If a trooper does wave you past, proceed carefully. Other drivers may take that opportunity to pull out and race ahead of the crowd. A crash caused by haste will cost you more time, and money, than a deliberate pace when re-entering the traffic stream.

Remember, each state sets its own bypass criteria. Even when you have a “green” light to bypass a weigh station or inspection site (meaning you are among the safe, legal and compliant carriers who qualify for PrePass) the state you are driving in may require certain types of loads to always pull in. For example, it may be oversize/overweight loads, hazardous materials, or agricultural loads.

See the PrePass list of state-specific bypass restriction criteria. This was provided when you received your PrePass transponder or signed up for the MOTION app and is also covered in your PrePass Driver Information Guide. Keep the list handy in your cab so you can continue enjoying that “green” light!

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