One of the hurdles that confronted participants at the very beginning of the Crescent Project was how to overcome an inherent distrust that existed between public agencies (operators of the infrastructure, such as departments of transportation) and industry (trucking companies and drivers). The public sector feared some truckers might abuse a bypass system, while truckers held deep-seated concerns that by voluntarily enrolling in and being qualified for the bypass program, they would be subject to greater scrutiny than their non-participating competitors.
Also, at the time the project was getting underway, nearly all of the participating states levied a weight-distance tax against truckers based on the miles traveled within those states and the tonnage of the freight being hauled. Companies participating in the program feared that they would be subject to a higher level of enforcement than their non-participating competitors, who would find it much easier to evade the taxes. Also, organizers wondered, how would such a system – dependent upon truckers voluntarily enrolling and allowing themselves to be put under a microscope – create and continue to maintain a balance between safety and efficiency?
The answer was to create an objective third-party entity – the non-profit 501(c)(3) HELP Inc., managed by a public/private Board of Directors and a professional staff – to provide the objectivity and strict adherence to standards of safe and efficient operation.