Sacco Measure Would Extend Emergency Truck Rules

TRENTON – The Senate passed a resolution today sponsored by Senator Nicholas Sacco that would extend the effective period of emergency truck rules put into place by the NJ Department of Transportation.

“The Department of Transportation has been working nonstop to develop comprehensive new rules for truck traffic in New Jersey,” said Senator Sacco, D-Bergen and Hudson. “In order for them to do that job as thoroughly as possible, we need to extend the time that the interim ’emergency’ regulations are in place.

Senator Sacco’s bill, SCR-95, would provide the Legislature’s concurrence, as required by state law, in the extension of the effective date of emergency rules concerning routes for truck traffic, from April 25, 2006 to June 24, 2006. Without the extension, the emergency rules would expire before the DOT could incorporate public comments into the new permanent rules for truck traffic.

“As we move forward, the safety of our drivers is of greatest importance,” added Senator Sacco, who is the chair of the Transportation Committee. “It was unfortunate that the courts struck down the truck ban on local roads, but we will not allow the decision to make our roads any less safe. The DOT will work closely with the public to ensure that the new regulations keep in the spirit of the ban.”

On February 21, 2006, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit found that the State’s ban on tractor trailers on all roads except for major highways was unconstitutional and prohibited their enforcement. The DOT filed emergency rules to govern truck traffic on February 24, 2006 while beginning the process to adopt new permanent rules. The proposed rules are expected to be made available today and the public will have until April 19 to submit comments on the new rules. Without the extension, the DOT would only have six days to incorporate public comment, which is likely to be insufficient time.

The concurrent resolution will now be filed with the Secretary of State. The Assembly resolution passed last Thursday.