BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland State Police said Thursday they’re prepared for convoys looking to disrupt local traffic to protest COVID-19 protocols and are coordinating with other agencies in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. to respond if needed.

“Agencies will allocate personnel and additional resources based upon analysis of the situation to ensure safety on our roadways and minimize potential traffic disruptions throughout the region,” the Maryland State Police said in a statement.

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Troopers from the agency’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division and Automotive Safety Enforcement Division are prepared “to address any violations of law and to maintain the free flow of traffic” in Maryland and neighboring jurisdictions, police said.

Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in the region are monitoring potential convoys and will provide official updates. Traffic alerts are available at roads.maryland.gov.

The People’s Convoy, a group calling for an end to pandemic-related health protocols, left California last month, with plans to reach the Washington D.C. area on March 5.

The group is set to reach the area of Hagerstown on the evening of March 4.

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According to a report by Indiana Public Media, Indiana State Police estimated 280 vehicles, including 100 semi-trucks, arrived in the western part of the state on Tuesday as part of the convoy.

In a statement announcing the cross-country protest, organizers called for dropping COVID-19 mandates to “re-open the country.”

“The average American worker needs to be able to end-run the economic hardships of the last two years, and get back to the business of making bread – so they can pay their rents and mortgages and help jumpstart this economy,” the group said.

On Feb. 23, a separate convoy, organized by Bob Bolus, departed Scranton, Pennsylvania, intent on choking the nation’s capital “like a big boa constrictor” by blocking traffic, but only a small group of vehicles made the trip.

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The convoys are inspired by similar protests in Canada, where truck drivers held weeks of protests and blockades against COVID-19 protocols.

CBS Baltimore Staff