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Police in Maryland target 18-wheelers over safety concern

Maryland state police officers will be targeting truckers who, for a variety of reasons including driver fatigue, illegally park alongside Interstate 83. If they can increase compliance from these commercial vehicle drivers, then they may be able to reduce accidents. Parking along highway shoulders creates a scenario that is dangerous for other drivers on the road, and contributes to the occurrence of auto accidents.

To reduce this behavior, state troopers will be initiating a "zero tolerance" policy for commercial vehicles parked on the shoulder for reasons unrelated to an emergency. This entails issuing citations to every vehicle which engages in this illegal practice inside of a specified area along I-83. While the citation does not carry with it the threat of adding points to a driver's record, it does include a $60 fine.

To counter this, police officers ask that drivers of commercial trucks plan their trips carefully to avoid having to park along the shoulder of the highway. Road signs will also be posted in the area to warn commercial drivers not to park in the area.

While police officers begin to focus their efforts on reducing this behavior, the State Highway Administration recognizes the need to expand truck parking spaces throughout the state. To this end, they have won $2.6 million dollars in grant money to be used on a project that will increase the number of parking spaces for truckers in Howard County.

This increased police activity serves as a reminder that large trucks can pose the threat of serious or fatal injury to other drivers on the road. Simply parking on the wrong stretch of road can even be dangerous to others. Driver fatigue or driver's negligence can also lead to serious accidents on the roadway. Drivers should be aware of the threats posed by large commercial vehicles and do all they can to avoid an accident.

If an accident occurs, the injured party may benefit from pursuing legal options. Victims could receive compensation for pain and suffering and economic damages. In worst case scenarios, the victim's family may receive compensation for wrongful death.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "State police to target truckers parked on I-83," Kevin Rector, Sept. 6, 2012

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