Maryland State Police’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division is the top safety inspection agency in the country, per the American Transportation Institute.
As of October 5th, the division has conducted almost 60,000 total inspections – pulling more than 11,000 commercial trucks off the road for safety violations.
Even on a holiday, the trucks don’t stop rolling on the expressway and off to the side to the West Friendship scale house in Howard County.
“The troopers that are assigned to this division have asked to be in this division. They’ve received special training. They’re USDOT certified inspectors, so if commercial vehicles – some have gone on to be hazardous material inspectors with buses,” Maj. Norman Dofflemyer, the assistant bureau chief for MDSP’s Special Operations Command, said.
Dofflemyer can show you the ins and outs of a commercial truck’s process into and out of a weigh station.
He’s oversaw the division for the last 13 years.
“As they pull up onto the scale, the troopers will look at the vehicles and see if they require a permit or anything. If not, they’ll look at them, check their safety rating, and if there’s safety concerns, they’ll bring them around for an inspection,” Dofflemyer said.
Both state troopers and cadets are her and the 11 other weigh stations across the state – inspecting, tightening, and weighing big rigs with tons of cargo.
Of the almost 60,000 trucks inspected this year, the checks have busted more than 11,000 vehicles for safety violations including rusted frames, poor treading on tires, or loose containers.
4600 drivers went on their way with tickets.
The inspections is to ensure safety for both truck drivers and others on the road. It’s a process that’s taken 50 years to perfect, crediting those who do it as some of the best in the country.
“We look back and we’re proud of that. We’ve developed over the last 50 years a great relationship with the commercial vehicle industry, whether it’s the trucks or the buses,” Dofflemyer said.