Everything You Need to Know About Bypass Programs

Weigh station bypass programs have become an integral part of the trucking industry. All carriers have experienced the impact of roadside inspections on their operations, from route delays to increased costs. Bypass programs provide a solution to these challenges.

While fleets are benefiting from the continued improvement to bypass technologies, there are common questions and misconceptions about how bypass programs work. By understanding the basics of bypass systems, fleets can take advantage of significantly enhanced operational efficiency, driver safety, and employee satisfaction while increasing their opportunities for bypasses.

The Most Common Misconceptions About Bypass Programs

1. Bypass programs will result in more inspections.

Bypass programs are used by officers to reward carriers with good safety ratings and keep inspection sites running smoothly. Bypass screening technology allows law enforcement to review a carrier’s Inspection Selection System (ISS) score, the license and vehicle identification number (VIN), and the vehicle’s weight. Inspection personnel can focus their efforts on unsafe vehicles while allowing safer fleets to remain on the mainline.

2. Bypass programs are used to track drivers

Most bypass services use secure mobile technology to ensure no sensitive information is delivered to law enforcement, such as a driver’s Hours of Service (HoS), medical records, and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

Bypass technology is designed to only screen for vehicle-specific criteria, such as the ISS score, license plate, VIN, USDOT number, and record the date and time that a truck bypasses or is asked to pull into a weigh station. The processing of this information is strictly regulated and does not leave the station.

3. Bypass programs require a transponder

While some bypass programs run on transponder-based functionality, more advanced technologies, like Drivewyze PreClear®, are completely transponder-free. GPS-based mobile software allows vehicles to stay on the mainline without slowing down or changing lanes to drive under a transponder reader.

4. Bypass programs use CSA scores for screening

The only safety score screened by a bypass program is the carrier’s ISS score, which is an aggregation of a fleet’s Compliance, Accountability, Safety (CSA) scores. It provides law enforcement with a more comprehensive view of a fleet’s safety profile.

However, safety scores do have important roles in how weigh station bypasses are granted and, if managed well, can increase the opportunity for more green lights en route.

How ISS and CSA Scores Apply to Bypass Programs

Although similar, CSA and ISS scores have distinct differences that come into play during a truck’s route.

The CSA score is a collection of safety data of roadside inspections, crash reports, investigation results, and registration details from the last 24 months, aggregated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA).

A fleet’s ISS score is an aggregation of the CSA scores. Ranging from 1 to 99 (100 being out of service), an ISS score reflects a carrier’s overall safety profile. The lower the score, the better the safety rating. Bypass technology screens for a vehicle’s USDOT number to locate the fleet’s ISS score in the federal system.

A great ISS score will typically result in more bypasses; a truck with an outstanding score could receive bypasses up to 98% of the time. Bypass services, like Drivewyze PreClear®, use the ISS score to determine the likelihood of performing an inspection.

However, a poor ISS score does not mean that a fleet won’t receive any bypasses. It may receive fewer, but a carrier can improve its safety score over time with a software-based bypass service that can automatically increase a carrier’s opportunity for bypass based on sheer volume.

Invest in a Bypass Service for more Green Lights

Adopting a transponder-less bypass service can provide carriers with significant cost and time savings. In one case, Mesilla Valley Transportation saved 1,579 hours and over $164,000 in operating expenses in just one month with such a system. Fleet managers should consider three primary criteria when selecting a 100% software-based bypass service:

1. Network Coverage on Routes, Nationwide & Beyond