Maryland truck dragnet takes 114 trucks off the road

A two-day inspection blitz targeting trucks entering and exiting the port of Baltimore by the Maryland State Patrol put 114 trucks and 21 drivers out of service for safety violations. One of every five commercial trucks pulled over by inspectors during a dragnet was placed out of service.

During the commercial truck inspection sweep, troopers carried out 562 inspections and issued 127 citations and 402 warnings. Offenses included falsified logbooks, hours-of-service violations, bad tires and defective brakes, according to a Baltimore Sun report.

By comparison, a one-day sweep last spring along the Capital Beltway generated 420 inspections resulting in 87 trucks and 12 drivers being taken off the road.

“This is not us against them,” said State Police Capt. Norman Dofflemyer told the Sun. “We want them to be safe and we want motorists to be safe. But some truck drivers and their companies just don’t get it.”

The police captain said some truckers, weary of fighting with their bosses over needed repairs, point out flaws to inspectors. Recently one driver showed a trooper an email from his boss instructing him to ignore problems and keep driving.

“We’re sending an audit team to the company for a complete inspection,” he said.

Anne S. Ferro, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, called sweeps “essential to raising the bar for motor carrier safety and removing those who fail to comply with the safety rules of the road.”

Last year, Maryland State Police inspectors weighed more than 2 million commercial vehicles and carried out more than 69,000 roadside inspections. Troopers issued 39,111 citations and 45,514 warnings for traffic and equipment violations, Dofflemyer said.

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