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Mobile Weigh Scales Project for the BC Ministry of Transportation


The Province of British Columbia’s Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) branch recently developed a new enforcement strategy consisting of the use of mobile weigh scales. Consequently, the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) initiated a project to construct mobile weigh scale sites throughout the Lower Mainland. At each site, CVSE officers will enforce transportation laws that govern the safe and legal operations of commercial trucking. The mobile enforcement is designed to be fast and effective, and CVSE officers will rotate between various mobile sites to minimize bypass opportunities for violators.
The general location of each site was strategically selected to be along an existing highway, interchange ramp, or pullout, and therefore, each site is considered to be an addition to the existing highway infrastructure. A detailed engineering assessment, consisting of maximizing available sight distance and acceleration and deceleration lengths, often within limited space, was critical in selecting the safest possible specific location for each site.
Given that the individual sites will be operated intermittently and at random, typically for no more than a few hours at a time, careful consideration was given to prevent the general public from misidentifying the pullouts as an additional travel lane or exit ramp. The general signing and illumination design approach minimizes attracting general road users to each site, as vehicles using a pullout unnecessarily could create an unsafe scenario.
MOTI collaborated with CVSE to develop a Commercial Vehicle Inspection Station (CVIS) Design Guide which included geometric guidelines to aid in the design of mobile weigh scales. Each site had its own physical constraints, requiring site specific designs for pullout lengths and widths, and entrance and exit tapers.
Existing posted speeds and traffic volumes, as well as expected truck usage and off-tracking, played a role in the specific design parameters developed for each site to provide sufficiently safe operations for CVSE personnel and truck drivers. When each site is in use, CVSE officers will have a presence, aiding truck drivers to decelerate in advance of the site, as well as pull into and exit the site. The CVSE officers will act as traffic control to ensure the safety of all road users travelling through the site.
The mobile weigh scale project required a unique approach to balancing site constraints and design
guidelines, while keeping public safety a priority.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Geometric Design - Emerging Issues
Santos, A.
Clark, C.
Geometric design