District-Wide Truck Safety Enforcement PlanTask 1
This Truck Safety Enforcement Plan was created to help the District of Columbia improve compliance withtruck weight regulations. This Plan is based on the belief that better weight compliance will significantly
help protect the State’s highway infrastructure and improve
safety. This Plan was created for the followingreasons:
To clarify and redefine roles, expectations and relationships for greater inter-agency coordination.
To identify optimal weight enforcement practices.
To identify strategies for maximizing economic benefits.
To establish direction for improving weight compliance strategies.This Plan also helps the responsible agencies identify emerging trends so they can better positionthemselves to address these new demands on the system. The organizational changes suggested in thisPlan establish an oversight process that can adjust the compliance program in response to these trends.This Plan recommends integrating agency functions to eliminate duplication of effort, ushering in newtechnologies that can streamline processes, and promoting research that can answer the difficultquestions associated with proposed truck size and weight legislation. Early in the development of thisPlan it was recognized that achieving the primary goal of truck weight compliance is a very complexprocess that requires a comprehensive set of initiatives that extend beyond enforcement.This report summarizes the approach, findings, and recommendations of the District-wide Truck SafetyEnforcement Plan led by the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in cooperation with MPD,DMV, FHWA, and FMCSA. The purpose of the project is to assess changes to District
truck size andweight planning, policy, and laws that would benefit the District by protecting roadway infrastructure andsafety.
Much of the truck traffic operating within the District of Columbia originates in Maryland and Virginia andis destined for transfer points in the city. This truck traffic represents approximately 5 percent of the
District’s Average Daily Traffic (ADT). Although crucial to the District’s commerce, an increasing downsideto this activity is that increasingly overweight trucks consume or wear out the District’s pavements and
bridges at a much higher rate. The damage caused by overweight trucks is currently estimated at $20
million each year. The District’s historic weigh
-in-motion (WIM) data and enforcement records indicate
that a disproportionate number of commercial vehicles do not comply with the city’s truck size and weight
laws. The consequences of excessive axle and gross vehicle weights are so great they demand acomprehensive approach to ensure truck weight compliance. Some fundamental background about theissues currently affecting truck travel within the District:
Single Manager with no support staff.
Currently, the over size and overweight permitting runs out of DDOT permitting office. The busand truck trip permits runs out of DMV. Communication between the two agencies is notadequate and hence not useful for planning purposes.
Weight compliance in the District has not been comprehensively measured, but evidence fromweigh-in-motion (WIM) data suggests that compliance is a significant problem. Furthermore, truckoverweight data on major truck route corridors cannot be determined due to lack of WIM scaleson these routes.
Truck weight enforcement is conducted through a single temporary weigh station located onoutbound I-295 (near Blue Plains Drive, SE) and through the portable scale units (56) operated