New Jersey bill would change compensation for state’s hazmat haulers

| 4/9/2008

If a New Jersey state lawmaker gets his way, how the state compensates hazmat haulers would change.

Sponsored by Assemblyman John Burzichelli, D-Gloucester, the bill would require New Jersey-based truckers who haul hazardous materials intrastate to be compensated “with an hourly wage, exclusive of overtime pay or other benefits paid to the driver.” The bill specifies that the hourly wage would be paid by the business, corporation, company, organization or other entity a driver is hauling for.

This marks the third time in recent years that Burzichelli has sought the change. The previous two efforts failed to advance from committee.

Burzichelli said the legislation is intended as an alternative method of compensation to better promote safety on the state’s roadways.

He wrote in the bill that hazardous materials haulers are often paid by the load. “This practice often encourages drivers to travel at excess speeds and increases the likelihood that a commercial motor vehicle transporting hazardous material may be involved in accident, placing the citizens of New Jersey at unnecessary risk from these hazardous materials.”

Burzichelli also wrote that nothing in the measure “is to be deemed or construed so as to limit, alter, or impair in any way any other applicable provision of federal or state law or regulation concerning the operation in intrastate or interstate commerce” of hazardous materials haulers.

The bill – A1483 – is in the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee.

To view other legislative activities of interest for New Jersey in 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor