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Anne Arundel Co. Police & MDTA Police Team Up To Make Bay Bridge Safer

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Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Anne Arundel County Police are teaming up with Maryland Transportation Authority Police in order to make sure commercial vehicles are in compliance with the law as they head over the Bay Bridge.

Rochelle Ritchie has more.

Five percent of Maryland’s crashes in 2011 involved commercial vehicles. Making sure commercial drivers are obeying the law is one sure way to keep accidents limited on the Bay Bridge.

Every year, the Bay Bridge is the site of frightening and horrific accidents involving commercial vehicles.

“They’re so large and the bridge is so small. The lanes aren’t that big,” said one driver.

Just this year, a woman’s car was sent plunging into the water off of the bridge because of a distracted truck driver. After swimming to nearby rocks, the woman lived to tell her story.

It’s these sort of incidents that keep Anne Arundel County Police and Maryland Transportation Authority Police looking for any and everything that could cause a problem.

“The focus here today is taking unsafe drivers and vehicles off the roadway,” said Sgt. Jonathan Green.

Tuesday, officers are pulling over and inspecting trucks at random to make sure they aren’t too heavy before crossing the Bay Bridge.

Five percent of the crashes in 2011 involved commercial vehicles, so checking the weight is important. But the mechanics are also crucial.

“Well, what we look for here is the rolling scale house. As the driver approaches, we want to see if they’re distracted. Are they talking on their cell phones? We’ll take a quick, cursory look–do we see any unsafe tires, meaning tread depth, something that’s easily visually apparent. If there is a violation, if we see that, we will pull them over and investigate further,” said Lt. David Ennis.

The checks not only ensure the safety of people on the roads but keep the roads in good condition.

Drivers that are found in minor violations are ticketed and have to foot the bill.

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