Unsafe trucks pulled off Beltway

All commercial vehicles on the Beltway have to exit at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, for an inspection by Maryland State Police. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
All commercial vehicles on the Beltway have to exit at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, for an inspection by Maryland State Police. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

Trucks being inspected by Maryland State Police teams. Those that fail have to be repaired at FedEx Field before they can leave. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Trucks being inspected by Maryland State Police teams. Those that fail have to be repaired at FedEx Field before they can leave. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

The Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division of the Maryland State Police makes sure trucks pass inspection. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

This Pepsi truck will be late in its delivery -- it was taken out of service by Maryland State Police until it could be fixed. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
This Pepsi truck will be late in its delivery — it was taken out of service by Maryland State Police until it could be fixed. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

This cement mixer needed a new tire before it could get back onthe road after a Maryland State Police inspection Wednesday. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
This cement mixer needed a new tire before it could get back on the road after a Maryland State Police inspection Wednesday. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

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All commercial vehicles on the Beltway have to exit at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, for an inspection by Maryland State Police. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
Trucks being inspected by Maryland State Police teams. Those that fail have to be repaired at FedEx Field before they can leave. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
This Pepsi truck will be late in its delivery -- it was taken out of service by Maryland State Police until it could be fixed. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)
This cement mixer needed a new tire before it could get back onthe road after a Maryland State Police inspection Wednesday. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

LANDOVER, Md. — Driving next to an 18-wheeler on a crowded highway can test the nerves of many drivers. 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 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.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.


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