NJDOT announces final 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) submitted for publication in the New Jersey Register new requirements (pdf 436k) for permitted routes and access to terminals for 102-inch wide standard trucks and double-trailer truck combinations.
“NJDOT’s new regulations will ensure that cars and commercial trucks can safely coexist on our state’s roadways without compromising our quality of life or economic strength,” said Commissioner Kolluri. “By working closely with municipal governments and law enforcement, trucking and transportation planning communities, NJDOT crafted rules that will maintain public safety and keep New Jersey at the forefront of the global commerce network.”
The hierarchy of roadways outlined in the new rules (pdf 114k) 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 final rules 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 final rules apply the routing requirements equally to both interstate and intrastate 102-inch wide standard trucks and double-trailer truck combinations.
NJDOT developed the rules as part of a truck task force chaired by Commissioner Kolluri consisting of affected constituency groups, including the League of Municipalities, the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, the New Jersey State Police, and the New Jersey Motor Truck Association.
The truck routing regulations will replace emergency regulations that were adopted on June 22, 2006. The emergency regulations were proposed in February 2006 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 appears in the January 22, 2008 New Jersey Register.