If the Light Turns Red, Remember “Don’t Panic”
So you got a RED light on your Drivewyze app and you’re now required to enter a scale site. Perhaps you’re thinking, ‘hey what the heck? I thought I was supposed to get a bypass.’
Remember that all Drivewyze users, regardless of their safety scores, can still be randomly chosen at any time for visual inspections.
So, what happens now? Well, just as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy said to Arthur Dent: “Don’t Panic.”
Sgt. Matt Koll and port manager Rhianna Nerby of the South Dakota Highway Patrol’s Motor Carrier Services Division agree with those words of advice. They suggest to simply follow the road signs and enter the scale site. After being weighed, you may be given the green light to return to your route or you may be instructed to report/park for a safety inspection. Keep in mind that scales and temporary inspection sites are in place to ensure the size, weight, equipment, and driver credentials are checked for voluntary compliance.
During this safety inspection, enforcement officers may want to look at the following items:
- Safety belt usage
- Cellphone/electronic usage (hands-free)
- Load securement
- Vehicle condition
To prepare, don’t wait until tomorrow what you can do today. If you haven’t already done so, consider gathering all of your operating credentials, plus your medical card, in one binder. Sgt. Koll and Ms. Nerby say taking this simple organizational step could drastically speed up the amount of time you spend at the inspection site. Plus, think about it this way: you’re the face of your company and you also represent the truck driving profession as a whole. If you look and act professional, you’re more likely to be treated professionally.
Your binder could include such things as:
- Tractor registration
- Trailer registration
- Fuel permit
- Shipping papers
- Tractor annual inspection report
- Trailer annual inspection report
- Driver’s license
- Record of duty status
- Medical card
Upon completion of the inspection, the two South Dakota Highway Patrol officers say you will receive a Vehicle Examination Report (VER). If something on the report seems unclear, don’t be intimidated to politely ask the inspectors for further explanation. And don’t forget that once you leave the scale site, it’s imperative to turn the VER into your safety director or company representative as soon as possible.