Appeals court says New Jersey truck ban unconstitutional

| 2/22/2006

A seven-year-old law banning trucks from off-network highways in New Jersey will soon be lifted, after a federal appeals court upheld a ruling that found the practice to be unconstitutional.

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upheld with a unanimous vote an earlier ruling from 2004 that found the restriction of trucks to national network was unconstitutional and discriminatory, The Newark Star-Ledger reported.

The restriction – which was implemented in 1999 after smaller communities near the New Jersey Turnpike complained about trucks using smaller highways to avoid toll increases – was struck down by the original 2004 ruling, but continued to be enforced throughout the appeals process.

According to The Star-Ledger, a temporary, 60-day emergency rule has been put in place by the state’s transportation department, until policymakers can establish new rules that do not conflict with the court’s latest ruling.

“We have to come up with new rules that will not only conform to the decision the court has issued, but that will make sure the roads that trucks travel on are the ones they should be on,” Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri told The Star-Ledger.