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State Police Launch Commercial Vehicle Safety Initiative

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Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A surprise inspection on commercial vehicles by Maryland State Police is causing frustration amongst drivers. Maryland State Police are stopping commercial vehicles and inspecting them to make sure they are compliant with safety regulations.

Rochelle Ritchie spoke with drivers who say it is not only an inconvenience but bad for business.

After the accident on the Bay Bridge in which an empty tractor trailer overturned, Maryland State Police are not taking any chances on the roadways. On Wednesday, they found a number of problems from overweight trucks to suspended licenses.

Dozens of calls from frustrated commercial drivers are pouring into WJZ. Many are surprised to be escorted off the road to M&T Bank Stadium for an unexpected inspection by the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division of the Maryland State Police.

“It’s a complete inconvenience to us and the customers who are not getting service; very anti-business,” said Michael, commercial driver.

In an effort to keep commercial vehicles in compliance, almost 70 personnel with State Police are looking for anything and everything that could pose a threat to road safety and they’re finding it.

“Their break components are bad, tires are bald or they are overweight, and that’s what tears up the streets in the city,” said Captain N.W. Dofflemyer, Maryland State Police.

Mechanical problems aren’t the only issue.

“We’re getting drivers that aren’t even certified to drive vehicles. They don’t have CDLs or they’re suspended,” Dofflemyer said.

It’s been six years since an operation of this magnitude.

But State Police were reminded of the need for more after 50 mph winds blew over an empty tractor trailer earlier this month on the Bay Bridge.

The driver was found in violation of the MDTA wind guidelines.

A restriction was in place banning empty trailers.

While state police call the inspections necessary, commercial drivers say it’s eating up their time and wallet.

“I should have three or four loads hauled by now, and I don’t have any,” said Jim Fairbanks, commercial driver. “I’ve been here since 8:30 this morning.”

Maryland State Police say unannounced inspections will become more popular in the days to come, and commercial drivers better be prepared or be late.

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