Trucks over four axles are required to use the new toll road in the Middletown area, except for local deliveries.
The Delaware State Police Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Unit recently partnered with the Maryland State Police Commercial Motor Vehicle Unit and investigated commercial vehicles bypassing the new U.S. Route 301 toll road in Middletown.
Trucks over four axles are required to use the new toll road instead of old Route 301, except in the case of local deliveries.
Enforcement was conducted Feb. 28 and March 1 due to safety concerns and citizens' concerns, according to a Delaware State Police press release.
The units staggered their hours so that enforcement was done from 5 a.m. through midnight.
During the two-day operation, 85 commercial motor vehicles were stopped and found to be bypassing the tolls. As a result, 85 commercial motor vehicle inspections were conducted, with 77 traffic citations and 50 written warnings for various offenses, police said.
Two unsafe trucks were put out of service, and one driver was placed out of service.
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 people and property by commercial motor vehicles, said Delaware State Police Sgt. John Samis, CMVEU supervisor.
"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," Samis said.
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," Samis said. "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."
Delaware Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan thanked 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,” said Cohan.