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NCPass

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has launched NCPass, a new transponder system to help monitor the weight and safety compliance of trucks on the state’s highways.

The system allows compliant motor carriers with up-to-date credentials to sign up to bypass the state’s weigh stations, resulting in numerous benefits for both truckers and the state.

NCPass Transponder Device Photograph
Transponder Device

How NCPass Works

  1. Motor carriers apply to enroll in NCPass and if they have a good compliance history and safety record, they are enrolled, entered into the system database and authorized to bypass the state's weigh stations (assuming continued compliance).
  1. Transponder Device Photograph
    The identification and authorization information for a particular truck is contained on that truck's transponder, which looks like a pager with both a green and a red light.
  1. Transponder Device Alert Photograph
    As a truck approaches the weigh station, a roadside reader scans the identification information from the transponder and compares it to a list of trucks contained in the system database.
  1. If a truck is authorized to bypass the station, the reader will alert the driver with a green light and an audible signal.
  1. Employee Alert Photograph
    At the same time, the reader will alert employees inside the weigh station that the truck has been given clearance by sending them an image of the truck, along with its identification information.
  1. Safety and Compliance Photograph
    Trucks authorized to bypass the station will be subject to occasional spot safety and compliance checks.
  1. NCPass Station Photograph
    If a truck is not cleared to bypass the station, the transponder will give the driver a red light with an audible signal, directing them to pull into the station. In addition, it will not send an image of the truck to station operators, alerting them that the truck is not cleared to bypass.

Benefits of NCPass

  • Better oversight and enforcement of motor carrier compliance.
  • Reduced back-ups at weigh stations.
  • More efficient travel time for trucks, particularly those authorized to bypass stations.
  • Increased highway safety.
  • Reduced fuel consumption and noxious emissions.
NCPass Station Photograph  NCPass Station Photograph  NCPass Station Photograph

System Enrollment

  • Enrollment in NCPass will be available to trucking companies for an annual fee varying from $37 to $70, based on whether the company already has transponders, the number of trucks the company is enrolling and the length of time the company elects to be part of the program.
  • Any trucking company can apply to enroll in the program, and NCDOT will authorize trucks to participate based on their credentials and compliance history. Carrier enrollment and fee collection will be handled by the system vendor.
  • For enrollment information please visit NCPass.
  • Data contained in the system will be confidential and will only be disclosed if required by law or for law enforcement purposes.

System Management

NCPass is operated and maintained by International Road Dynamics Inc. Some noteworthy facts about the system include:

  • Contract worth up to $4 million signed with International Road Dynamics Inc. includes design and installation of the system, as well as operation and maintenance for eight years.
  • Operation costs may be offset by revenue from program enrollments in coming years, reducing the overall amount of the contract.
  • The contract also includes installation of:
    • Web-based carrier enrollment system
    • IRD carrier database system (with interface to state's existing system)
    • Roadside readers that relay information to and from the transponder and the computer inside the weigh station
    • Computer with display in the scale station house to provide feedback to station staff and additional communication systems required for operation of the transponder program.
  • IRD will be responsible for upgrading and maintaining the equipment throughout the duration of the contract.
  • IRD will subcontract with PBS&J, a national engineering consulting firm, to ensure that the design and layout of NCPass sites coordinate with future plans for station upgrades, and proposed construction meets the state's minimum standards for equipment installed along the highway right of way.
  • IRD will also subcontract with T&H Electric, a North Carolina contractor, to perform the physical installation of the equipment.
  • IRD will market the system to trucking companies and will be responsible for carrier enrollment and fee collection.
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