In Maryland, state police officials said Friday there were a few minor accidents in the morning on the outer loop of the Beltway in College Park at the Route 1 exit and at the Route 50 exit in Landover — none of them were related to the trucker protest.
The trucker protesters seemed to be but a mere blip on the traffic cameras of area police officials.
Given there are roughly 200,000 to 250,000 vehicles daily on the Beltway — with roughly 10 percent of them being tractor trailers, the protestor group was going to have to do a lot to stand out, according to David Buck, a spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration.
“We saw about 20 of their trucks this morning coming from Route 66 in Virginia into Maryland,” he said. “They were going the speed limit but it was stop and go traffic, and we’ve had six inches of rain for the last two and a half days.
“Nothing materialized,” he said of the truckers protest, which had taken on a life of its own online.
In Virginia, extra troopers were on hand — in part — because of the expected trucker protest. Earlier Friday morning, Virginia police said the trucks traveled in the right lane of the Beltway, keeping pace with other traffic — around 40 to 45 miles per hour, due to the wet road conditions, said Virginia State Police spokesman Corinne N. Geller.
But by mid-morning, she said, the group was becoming harder to track.
“It was pretty much a non-event,” she said. “They continued to comply with the laws. I would think the heavy traffic and the rain made it hard for them to stay together.”
Virginia state police did stop four tractor-trailers Friday morning after they drove side-by-side, across all four northbound lanes of the Beltway’s inner loop. That caused traffic to slow to 15 miles per hour. State police troopers stopped the vehicles and “warned them not to impede traffic,” Geller said. The drivers were not issued tickets and allowed to “proceed on their way.”
In a dial-in conference call with the group called “Truckers Ride for the Constitution,” one of the protest organizers — Zeeda Andrews — chatted with a truck driver who was going by the name General Lee (otherwise known as Ernest Lee from Bullhead City, Ariz.), and other organizers.
Tom Lacovara of Woodbury, N.J., who was riding with Lee, around 11 a.m. on the Beltway in Lee’s tractor-trailer said the two and other protesters had stopped for a bathroom break mid-day Friday at a weigh station near the Beltway and Interstate 95 in College Park.