EWING – Senator Shirley K. Turner, a long-standing supporter of truck restrictions on local roads and highways, announced that she has reintroduced legislation banning all trucks from all roads other than interstate highways, the NJ Turnpike or the Atlantic City Expressway.
“Tractor-trailer trucks simply make our local highways and roads less safe,” said Senator Turner. “In my district alone, I know of state highways that are already packed enough during rush hours without tons of trucks adding to the congestion. Our residents deserve to have safer roads that are truck free.”
The bill, S-1515, would restrict 102-inch wide standard trucks and double – trailer truck combinations operating in the State of New Jersey to the National Network, which consists of all interstate highways and parts of Routes 42, 81, 130, 322, and 440, the New Jersey Turnpike and the Atlantic City Expressway. Trucks having an origin or destination not on one of the designated highways can travel on other New Jersey roads to the extent necessary for the vehicle to reach that particular destination.
Senator Turner noted that she has sponsored several bills over the past eight years looking to expand the old truck ban.
“While trucks make up an important part of our commercial transportation system, motorist and pedestrian safety must come first. There are simply some roads in New Jersey where tractor-trailers don’t belong. I have worked over the years to make sure that New Jersey has remained at the forefront in motorist safety when it comes to restricting trucks,” explained Senator Turner.
The existing state ban on trucks on state highways, imposed in 1999, was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in 2004. The state was allowed to maintain the ban while appealing the judge’s decision, but that appeal was rejected last week, effectively ending the ban.
“The decision by the courts was unfortunate, but there is a clear fix to their objections and we must make every effort possible to implement a new ban that will pass constitutional muster. This new ban will do just that,” said Senator Turner.
The bill does not prevent truckers from leaving the permitted set of highways to eat, rest or seek repairs for their truck.
The bill now awaits assignment to a Senate Committee.