Police target trucks bypassing U.S. 301 tolls

Delaware and Maryland troopers recently conducted an operation targeting commercial vehicles bypassing the new U.S. Route 301 toll road in the Middletown area. (Submitted photo/Delaware State Police)

MIDDLETOWN — Citing safety and citizen concerns, the Delaware and Maryland Police Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Units worked together to target commercial vehicles bypassing the new U.S. 301 toll road, authorities said.

The two-day operation was conducted on Feb. 28 and March 1. The units staggered their hours so that enforcement was done from 5 a.m. through midnight. During the operation, 85 commercial motor vehicles were stopped and found to be bypassing the tolls. As a result, 85 commercial motor vehicle inspections were conducted. Seventy-seven traffic citations and 50 written warnings were issued for various offenses. Two unsafe trucks were put out of service and one driver was placed out of service.

Police said additional operations will be conducted in the near future.

“The mission of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Unit is to enhance highway safety by preventing commercial motor vehicle related crashes and ensuring the safe, secure transportation of persons and property by commercial motor vehicles,” said Sgt. John Samis, supervisor of the DSP Commercial Vehicle Motor Vehicle Enforcement Unit.

“We achieve this mission by conducting commercial motor vehicle Inspections, conducting traffic enforcement, completing motor carrier investigations and safety audits, and by outreach and education.

“During this operation, the primary goal was to keep commercial vehicles from traveling on roadways that are prohibited for their use. We have worked with DelDOT officials to ensure that there is proper signage to alert the truck drivers. We also keep an open dialogue with the drivers themselves to explain the issues caused by them using the wrong roadways.

“Through enforcement and education, we hope to greatly lower the number of violators which will in turn make our roadways safer.”

Said Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan, “We are grateful to both the Delaware State Police and Maryland State Police for their ongoing efforts to address commercial trucks who are attempting to avoid toll collection. Local roads are not intended for use by commercial traffic which negatively impacts the local communities and road conditions.”

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