'Operation Tailgate' Removes Unsafe Commercial Vehicles from Capital Beltway
Enforcement initiative finds equipment violations, drivers who lack the proper license and vehicles carrying to heavy of a load.
A major law enforcement initiative to get dangerous commercial vehicles off the roadway netted hundreds of traffic citations and forced dozens of commercial vehicles out of service Thursday.
Called ‘Operation Tailgate’, Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers and other inspectors stopped commercial vehicles traveling along I-495 Thursday to ensure trucks, buses,commercial vehicles and their drivers were in compliance with the law.
A total of 461 commercial vehicles were inspected. Of those, 83 vehicles were placed out-of-service due to serious equipment violations. One of those vehicles was hauling hazardous materials.
A total of 21 drivers were placed out of service for various violations including: driving with a suspended license, carrying a false logbook, driving beyond the hours permitted by federal regulation, or not having the proper commercial driver’s license.
Of the 21 vehicles weighed on portable scales, fifteen were cited for being overweight. Seven of the vehicles were grossly overweight, resulting in the cargo being off-loaded to another vehicle. One was overweight by more than 60,000 pounds.
Troopers issued 238 traffic citations and 170 warnings. One driver was arrested on an outstanding warrant and another was arrested for the possession of marijuana.
State Police K-9 Units and inspectors from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Maryland Department of Environment, the Maryland State Highway Administration, and several other allied law enforcement agencies collaborated in this effort to target unsafe and overweight commercial vehicles traveling the Capital Beltway.
Agents from the Maryland Comptroller’s Office also participated by testing fuel tanks for untaxed fuel and checking fuel registrations.
A stationary inspection area was set up at Fed Ex Field, in Prince George’s County. Commercial vehicles, traveling along the inner loop of I-495 in the Landover area, were directed off the interstate into an inspection lane for a USDOT vehicle and driver inspection. Mobile weight and inspection teams were also deployed to interdict any commercial vehicles attempting to avoid the exit.
“Operation Tailgate” is an enforcement initiative led by the Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division. Its success is a result of the collaborative efforts among several local, county and federal agencies. Assisting police agencies included the Prince George’s County Police, Montgomery County Police, Anne Arundel County Police, and the Calvert County Sheriff’s office.