By Karen Rasmussen, Chief Executive Officer, HELP Inc. In 1993 the world of trucking and commercial motor vehicle enforcement changed forever […]
HELP’s public and private partners envision safe, secure and seamless commercial vehicle operations across North America’s highway system. Through widespread use of advanced technologies, both carriers and government agencies will increase regulatory compliance, while also saving time and money; and reduce congestion, delays and environmental impacts.
Although HELP formally came into existence in 1993, both HELP and PrePass trace their origins to a multi-year truck safety demonstration program that began in the mid-1980s. A group of innovative state department of transportation (DOT) directors and trucking executives sought a way to pre-screen and weigh qualified, safe commercial trucks at highway speeds. This would provide efficiencies to both the trucking industry and state enforcement agencies focusing weigh station inspections on carriers that needed attention while safe trucks with solid safety scores and valid credentials could save time, fuel and money.
Known as the Crescent Project, the demonstration program brought together innovative representatives from Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and the province of British Columbia. One of the hurdles facing the Crescent Project was how to overcome an inherent distrust between public agencies (operators of the infrastructure, such as DOTs) and industry (trucking companies and drivers). The answer: create an objective third-party entity to provide a balanced perspective and ensure strict adherence to standards of safe and efficient operation. Thus, HELP Inc. was born.
Today, the organization has partnerships with trucking associations in all 50 states and PrePass is currently operational in 37 states. As of December 2017, there have been more than 800,000,000 successful bypasses logged, thanks to HELP technology.
How We Operate
AN OBJECTIVE SAFETY-FOCUSED BOARD
Representatives from both the public and private sectors serve on HELP’s Board of Directors and play the critical role of developing operational policies and best practices, vetting and authorizing development of new products and services, and ensuring that safety and regulatory compliance remain HELP’s principal focus. To make certain that all activities balance the needs of both industry and government, HELP’s Board of Directors is comprised of an equal number of members from both groups.
Leadership of the Board and its committees rotates every two years to ensure that neither government nor industry dominate HELP’s decision-making process.
THE BENEFIT OF BEING A P3
HELP’s unique public-private partnership (P3) approach bridges the gap between industry and government, and promotes the highest level of cooperation. This unique collaboration enables HELP to deliver advanced transportation technologies faster, better and more cost-effectively than traditional approaches.
HELP Inc. is committed to providing its jurisdictional partners with services that promote the safe and efficient movement of freight.
Across North America, agencies are dealing with a steady increase in truck traffic in addition to budget constraints and reduced staffing. To assist in addressing the issues of budget and staffing limitations, HELP Inc. provides solutions to facilitate the safe movement of freight, including PrePass e-screening and weigh station pre-clearance.
HELP Inc. provides the required Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) infrastructure and ongoing maintenance at no cost to the jurisdiction. Prequalified carriers help underwrite PrePass system deployment, maintenance and expansion of the system through low monthly fees.
Once a PrePass site is operational, fleets and vehicles are pre-screened using safety and credential information obtained from the U.S. Department of Transportation and more than 100 additional state and provincial government data sources.
The success of PrePass would not be possible without the participation of states that embrace the program and utilize it as an integral part of their commercial vehicle safety enforcement strategy.
While it is rarely necessary, in the event of certain criminal investigations, HELP is authorized and obligated to report carrier data to state or federal enforcement agencies upon request. HELP’s Data Committee continually reviews data privacy laws and rulings to ensure that its actions protect individual privacy while supporting critical enforcement actions.