Policy Recommendations for Reducing the Damage of Overweight Trucks on Public Roads by Improving California’s Weigh-in-Motion (WIM) System

Research Lead: Wei-Bin Zhang

University: UC Berkeley

Problem Statement: Many of California’s public roads, highways and bridges are in poor condition, and the funds from the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB 1) can only be effectively used if the state thoroughly understands road repair needs. Overweight vehicles are responsible for about 60% of road network damage, and studies revealed that the extremely low overweight detection rate is caused by technological gaps of the weigh-in-motion (WIM) sensors used in California.

Project Description: The main tasks of this study includes: 1) Conduct a research synthesis of truck overweight problem in California and current status of enforcement of overweight trucks; 2) Investigate technological, deployment, and policy gaps associated with overweight enforcement using WIM technologies; 3) Develop recommendations on how to address the gaps associated with WIM technologies and steps to be taken for improvement of WIM prescreening system and enforcement practice; and 4) Estimate the benefits of an effective WIM system related to the reduction of infrastructure damage due to overweight trucks and the potential cost savings to the state.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $25,000

Project Partner(s): Caltrans