New Jersey forms task force to establish new trucking rules

| 3/2/2006

After having its previous rules shot down by the U.S. Court of Appeals, New Jersey’s acting Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri is forming a task force to create an alternative – and hopefully legal – set of restrictions on which roads trucks can use in the state.

Kolluri said he’s hoping to convene the group within the next few days, before a 60-day temporary rule keeping trucks off of all non-highway and interstate roads expires.

“The goal of the group is to come up with rules that balance commerce and safety,” Kolluri told the Asbury Park Press. “I’m pushing my folks hard to convene in a week, so we can come up with regulations in 60 days.”

On Tuesday, Feb. 22, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia unanimously upheld an earlier ruling from 2004 that found the restriction of trucks to the “national network” was unconstitutional and discriminatory.

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 Newark’s Star-Ledger, the 60-day emergency rule was put in place by the state’s DOT so that policymakers could 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,” Kolluri told The Star-Ledger.