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news release

P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ

Contact: Brendan Gill or Erin Phalon
609-530-4280

RELEASE: February 28, 2006

 

NJDOT emergency truck access regulations take effect

(Trenton) Acting Commissioner Kris Kolluri today announced that the New Jersey Department of Transportation's (NJDOT) proposed emergency regulations that identify state roadways suitable for 102-inch wide trucks are in effect.  

 

“These rules protect motorists' safety by restricting truck traffic as NJDOT continues its legal fight for a statewide truck ban,” said Acting Commissioner Kolluri. “Without the emergency rules, 102-inch wide trucks could lawfully travel on virtually any road in the state, regardless of whether the roads are physically suited for such vehicles.”

 

The proposed rules permit 102-inch trucks to travel exclusively on state, interstate and county roads that feature lane widths of at least 11 feet, shoulders and geometric configurations suitable to safely accommodate large trucks. 102-inch wide standard trucks may detour off the authorized routes only to the extent necessary to bypass road closings and route restrictions such as weight or vertical clearance limits.

 

The emergency rule is effective immediately. Its permanent counterpart, filed concurrently, will appear in the March 20, 2006 issue of the New Jersey Register .   The public may comment on the rule through April 19.    

NJDOT proposed the emergency truck access rules in response to the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals opinion that declared New Jersey's previous truck access rules unconstitutional. Under the previous regulations, interstate trucks were required to use the National Network, which is comprised primarily of the Interstate system. Trucks were allowed off the National Network only when seeking reasonable access to food, fuel, repairs or rest.   Under these regulations, intrastate trucks could use both the National Network and the New Jersey Access Network, comprised primarily of state highways, since these trucks had either an origin or destination, or both, within New Jersey.  

 

The American Truck Association (ATA) and U.S. Xpress, Inc. challenged these regulations on the grounds that they violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.   In March 2004, the court ruled in favor of the ATA, but allowed a stay of New Jersey's regulations pending an appeal.   On February 21, 2006 the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion on that appeal and declared the rules unconstitutional . Under the direction of Governor Jon S. Corzine, NJDOT will appeal this decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.  

 

The proposed rule and a map depicting roadways affected by the rule are available at http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/freight/trucking/routing.shtm.

 
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  Department of Transportation
  P.O. Box 600
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  Last Updated:  October 30, 2007