TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner today announced that she would redouble her efforts to pass her legislation putting a new truck ban in place now that the U.S. Supreme Cout has made a final ruling that that State’s truck ban is illegal.
“It’s just plain wrong to let huge trucks risk the lives of children walking to school or parents dropping their kids off at daycare,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer and a long-standing supporter of truck restrictions on local roads and highways. “There is nothing more important than the safety of our citizens and we cannot let this decision cow us into allowing trucks to run roughshod over every New Jersey road.”
Senator Turner’s 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. The bill does not prevent truckers from leaving the permitted set of highways to eat, rest or seek repairs for their truck.
“This is an issue we need to continue to press until we get an answer that is acceptable to the people of New Jersey. Just because the Supreme Court sided with big corporations over the best interests of New Jersey’s citizens, doesn’t mean that we should allow the trucking companies to do what they want,” 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 by the federal appeals court in February, forcing the State to adopt emergency rules while appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Tuesday’s decision by the Supreme Court to not hear the case effectively ended any chance of the old state ban being reinstated, Senator Turner said.