State of Maryland cracks down on trucking safety

While most transportation companies already employ the use of fleet maintenance softwareand perform regular check ups on their vehicles, those that don't may receive citations as they find local authorities increasing their efforts to mitigate risks on the road and enhance safety compliance.

A recent safety initiative in Baltimore resulted in a two-day sweep that had inspectors checking trucks across the region. According to The Baltimore Sun, state troopers conducted 562 inspections, which resulted in a total of 127 citations and 402 warnings. Drivers were given citations for violations such as falsifying logbooks, spending too much time driving without a break and having tires and brakes that weren't in optimal condition. Trucks that passed the inspections were permitted to continue on with their routes, while drivers in trucks declared unsafe were told their vehicles would need to undergo necessary repairs before they would be on the road again.

More citations don't necessarily mean less safety
Anne Ferro, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, claimed the inspections were essential, according to The Baltimore Sun. The paper reported that most drivers interviewed thought the inspections were a help, rather than a hindrance, to their jobs, as regular checks help promote safety and reduce the risk of accidents. Other drivers viewed the inspections as just another part of the job.

Even though no one seemed to mind the safety inspections themselves, some appeared to take issue with how the stops portrayed the transportation industry. Louis Campion, president of the Maryland Motor Truck Association, questioned the types of violations received by the majority of those who did receive citations during the stops. Campion called for a breakdown of the offenses that warranted citations and questioned whether the majority of those were small problems that didn't pose major road hazards, or infractions that could likely be caught with routine checks and maintenance software.

While enhanced enforcement may be good for the industry and help promote both driver and company safety initiatives, Maryland's transportation industry has never been less risky than it is today. Campion claimed that by looking at accident rates, fatalities and other indicators, drivers and transportation companies have taken the initiative to increase safety measures and also employ all the precautions necessary to limit collisions and dangerous situations.