New Mexico inspection program receives top award

Wednesday, May 8 2013 admin

New Mexico’s Smart Roadside program, a high-tech commercial vehicle screening system, has been recognized as one of the “Top 25 Innovations in Government” by the Ash Center at the Harvard Kennedy School. The electronic sensoring program identifies high-risk vehicles and targets them for inspection.

The New Mexico Department of Public Safety, Motor Transportation Police Division’s Smart Roadside program began in 2009 as an answer to commercial vehicle law enforcement officers not being able to keep up with truck inspections due to growth in traffic volume. Also, constant and often unnecessary inspection stops were slowing down the flow of commerce.

New Mexico roadThe intelligent roadside sensors stationed throughout New Mexico’s roadways collect the data from passing trucks for the system’s software. The information is then compared to state and federal databases to produce red alerts for law enforcement. The Smart Roadside system becomes a real-time tool to reveal high-risk vehicles and provides a solution to limited manpower and ineffective screening operations.

The Smart Roadside system includes mobile inspection systems with military-class thermal imaging technology that can identify trucks traveling with unsafe equipment. In addition, Smart Roadside trailers are equipped with electronic screening systems that check trucks for compliance with safety and security regulations. Advanced imaging systems identify a vehicle based on its license plate and carrier information displayed on the side of the truck.

According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, which recognized the program for its innovation and effectiveness in 2012, Smart Roadside produced 4.7 million alerts on trucks traveling through New Mexico in 2011 alone.

In Overdrive magazine’s recent CSA’s Data Trail analysis, New Mexico ranked 7th among states for inspection intensity. The study reveals there were 18 inspections per lane-mile of National Highway System within the state's borders since the kickoff of the Compliance, Safety Accountability program. Due to the selection efficiency provided by the Smart Roadside Inspection system, roadside driver and vehicle inspections greatly outnumbered fixed-location inspections.

At least a dozen North American Commercial Vehicle Enforcement (CVE) agencies have since followed the lead and implemented the same model provided by Smart Roadside’s success in removing unsafe trucks from roadways and, subsequently, saving lives.

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