KITTERY — Maine State Police are stepping up commercial vehicle safety checks as part of a national initiative to promote highway safety.

Troopers and police motor carrier inspectors will be checking trucks and buses on Interstate 95 from Kittery to Houlton and on other roads during the three-day event called Roadcheck 2011, which kicks off today and runs through Thursday.

The effort is sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, a Maryland-based organization comprised of governmental traffic safety officials and industry representatives from the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The organization has been holding annual Roadcheck events since 1988, with more than 1 million vehicles being inspected.