Unsafe Trucks Pulled Off Beltway

LANDOVER, Md. — Driving next to a 16-wheeler on a crowded highway can test the nerves of many driver. Driving next to an unsafe truck can be much worse.

All commercial vehicles Wednesday are being directed off the Capital Beltway into the FedEx Field parking lots, for an inspection by the Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division.

“They’ll go (from) the front of the vehicle to back,” said Captain Michael Gelormino, commander of the division. “They’re going to check log books, brakes, steering, suspension, the whole nine yards.”

The inspections are part of a twice-yearly program of the North American Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which sponsors the road check program nationwide.

Trucks that fail the inspection are taken out of service and have to be repaired in the parking lot before they can get back on the road.

“There’s (road service) companies that do the necessary repairs; they have a lot of parts on hand,” Gelormino said.

In an impromptu pit area, truck drivers on their cellphones communicate with their offices about the needed repairs, as road service companies do repairs on the spot.

Gelormino says time is money in the trucking industry, but so is safety.

“A lot them appreciate and understand it’s part of the business, so a majority of them don’t have a problem pulling in here,” he said.

Last year, more than 100 vehicles were pulled out of service. Judging at midday, Gelormino expects this year’s number to be higher.

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