NJDOT proposes statewide truck routing restrictions
Regulations balance public safety, law enforcement and commerce
(Trenton) Commissioner Kris Kolluri today announced that the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) is proposing new restrictions upon the permitted routes, width, length and access to terminals for 102-inch wide standard trucks and double-trailer truck combinations.
“NJDOT’s new regulations establish a hierarchy of roadways upon which large trucks can safely travel within New Jersey,” said Commissioner Kolluri. “The rules balance the need to protect the safety of the traveling public and the need to provide the trucking industry with an efficient and economical roadway network.”
The hierarchy of roadways (pdf 4.4m) outlined in the proposed new rules includes the National Network (comprised primarily of Interstate highways, the Atlantic City Expressway, and the New Jersey Turnpike), the New Jersey Access Network (comprised of State highways and some county roadways) and local unrestricted roadways.
The proposed rules (pdf 105k) require large trucks to utilize the National Network unless seeking food, fuel, rest, repairs, or to reach a terminal by the direct route, which entails the shortest travel distance. Upon completing each trip, the large truck should return to the National Network in a manner consistent with reaching its next terminal. Trips off of the National Network or the New Jersey Access Network onto all other local unrestricted roadways should only be for the purpose of accessing a terminal on those roadways by the shortest distance.
In contrast to the 1999 truck regulations, which were ruled unconstitutional, NJDOT’s proposed rules apply the routing requirements equally to both interstate and intrastate double-trailer truck combinations and 102-inch wide standard trucks.
NJDOT developed the proposed rules as part of a truck task force consisting of affected constituencies including the League of Municipalities, the North Jersey Planning Authority, the New Jersey State Police, the New Jersey Motor Truck Association and mayors were brought together in a truck task force and chaired by Commissioner Kolluri.
The truck routing regulations (pdf 42k) to be repealed were adopted on June 22, 2006. They were proposed in February 2006 as emergency regulations in response to the decision of the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a lower court’s finding that New Jersey’s truck routing regulations violated the provisions of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Under the direction of Governor Jon S. Corzine, this decision was raised to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear that appeal on October 2, 2006.
The rule proposal is scheduled to appear in the December 18, 2006 New Jersey Register, followed by 60-day public comment period.