MOTOR CARRIERS (FMCSA’S COMMERCIAL VEHICLE INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND NETWORKS SAFETY PROGRAM) / The “[Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration] FMCSA announces that Commercial Mobile Radio Services (CMRS) network devices can be used as transponders for the purposes of [Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks] CVISN electronic screening truck inspection and weigh station bypass systems.” Note: This could lead to some real efficiencies.

“Use of Wireless Mobile Data Devices as Transponders for the Commercial Motor Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) Electronic Screening Systems”

July 19, 2013. Notice; Announcement of Policy.

“CMRS network devices such as smartphones, tablets, fleet management systems, global positioning system (GPS) navigational units, and onboard telematics devices (referred to collectively as “wireless mobile data devices”) have the capability of transmitting and receiving the same information between the driver and the inspection site as the dedicated short-range communication (DSRC)-enabled transponders operating at the 915 MHz frequency currently used to fulfill the CVISN electronic screening requirement for core compliance. This policy does not affect the applicability or enforcement of FMCSA’s regulations prohibiting texting and the use of hand-held wireless mobile phones by commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.”

“The purpose of the CVISN program is to advance technological capability and promote the deployment of Intelligent Transportation System applications for commercial vehicle operations, including commercial vehicle, commercial driver, and carrier specific information systems and networks. CVISN is divided into core and expanded deployment. Before a State is eligible for expanded deployment funding, it must complete core deployment. In order to complete core deployment, States must install an electronic system to screen transponder-equipped commercial vehicles at a minimum of one fixed or mobile inspection site in the State and replicate this screening at other sites. The objective of electronic screening is to identify enrolled vehicles; to screen vehicles based on safety history, weight, and credential status (e.g., registration, fuel tax payment, operating authority); and to allow enrolled vehicles that meet the State’s criteria to bypass inspection sites. By allowing compliant vehicles to bypass weigh stations and inspection sites without stopping, FMCSA and its State partners are able to increase the effectiveness of enforcement efforts by targeting high risk motor carriers. Currently, weigh stations and inspection sites electronically screen DSRC-enabled transponder-equipped CMVs to determine if an inspection is necessary or if the driver should bypass the weigh station or inspection site.

“In the past, States have installed only DSRC electronic screening transponder systems to satisfy the CVISN core electronic screening requirement because that was the prevalent technology at the time the CVISN program was authorized. States or private companies providing the DSRC screening services were required to install DSRC infrastructure to participate in the information sharing between roadside activities and the vehicles required to be in compliance with Core CVISN deployment. States may continue to deploy DSRC electronic screening transponder systems operating at the 915 MHz frequency to fulfill the CVISN electronic screening requirement for core compliance.”