"I'm usually on the road about 3 weeks at a time," states Khai Smith, Truck Driver.
His truck was 1 of more than a 1,000 that passed through the new radiation detection machine along Interstate 44 in Joplin.
"It just specifically enables us to detect and identify certain types of radiation. We have always have that capability but this is a little bit more sophisticated," said Mike Watson, Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Officially called the "Advanced Spectroscopic Portal," officials say this device could help protect against terrorist activities by ensuring all freight passing through Missouri is at or below standard radiation levels.
"Anything that's maybe naturally occurring or small amounts of radiation in different products, such as medical products or something a little more serious, like something that may be used as a weapon," states Watson.
The new Advanced Spectroscopic Portal has 3 visible cameras and numerous scanners to provide this advanced detection. It's something highway patrol officers say will make Missouri highways safer.
"Safety wise, we make sure that the radiation, whatever it may be, is legitimately low if it's something that's legal, and also the safety of the motorists and the drivers," states Watson.
The new device helps the highway patrol identify leaks and make sure nuclear waste is being carried in the proper containers. It's an extra precaution some drivers say is well worth the slight slow down at the weigh station.
"They might bring you in more to check out the product that you have, other than that, it slows down a few minutes, but not much. I think it would be good for everybody anyway," said Patrick Becker, Truck Driver.
Highway patrol representatives say the ASP machine came at no cost to their agency. It was entirely paid for by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.