The Ministry of Transport and Works has acquired two portable vehicle weigh scales, which will be deployed throughout the island, as the government moves to contain damage to the island’s road network caused by overloaded trucks.
Portfolio Minister, Mike Henry, yesterday (Sept. 8) hosted a meeting of stakeholders in the transport sector at his Maxfield Avenue office, where the use of the equipment was demonstrated.
The scales, which will be deployed soon, will complement fixed equipment, which will be installed at four locations across the island.
In March, a US$500,000 contract was signed with Advance Scales and Equipment Limited for the supply and installation of the four weigh scales, which will be sited in the vicinity of the Ferry Police Station, St. Catherine; Harbour View, St. Andrew; Coral Spring, Trelawny; and Agualta Vale, St. Mary.
According to Minister Henry “it is envisioned that the placement of scales at these strategic locations on the island’s road network will, in averting the overloading of trucks, help to reduce the cost to maintain the integrity of the road infrastructure in general.”
He noted that the overloading of trucks has caused “untold damage to many of the roads and bridges, which were not constructed to hold up to the constant grind of these large vehicles.”
Minister of Transport and Works, Hon. Michael Henry (second left); Director of the Island Traffic Authority, Mr. Paul Clemetson (second right) and Chief Motor Vehicle Inspector, Island Traffic Authority, Mr. Clive McDonald (right), look on as Senior Inspector, Motor Vehicles, Island Traffic Authority, Mr. Fidel McFarlane demonstrates how to operate the portable weigh scale using the
custom-made central processing unit (CPU). Occasion was a stakeholder meeting regarding weigh scale policy, and demonstration of the portable scale, at the Ministry’s Maxfield Avenue offices, in Kingston, today (September 8).
The weigh scale programme, being implemented by the Ministry, will seek to ensure that all safety requirements are met by the transport operators and the consignees of the loads, he pointed out.
He argued that while the measure by the Ministry may require that trucks make more trips, it would have achieved a lower overall operating and maintenance cost, which will benefit all the relevant stakeholders.
He informed that a public sensitisation campaign will be undertaken regarding the changes that will be implemented.
“Those who choose to continue with their old habits must be made to understand the insensitivity of their actions, and this is what the weigh scale and safety programme is all about,” the Minister stated, informing that the scales are widely used in North America and Europe.
Chief Motor Vehicles Inspector at the Island Traffic Authority (ITA), Clive McDonald, in the meantime, explained that the portable scales will be used “in what we call weigh bays, which is a little section off the road, so that it doesn’t hinder the traffic. So they will be deployed throughout the island at different places as we see fit.”
He noted that the equipment will be put in operation in “short order,” however there are plans to do some “in-house-training” prior to deployment.
The ITA is the executing entity for the weigh scale programme.