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.