You have until April 19 to comment on New Jersey truck access

| 3/28/2006

The New Jersey Legislature has approved an effort giving the state more time to consider public comments about emergency regulations allowing large trucks to use state and national highways in the state.

The public has until April 19 to send comments to the New Jersey Department of Transportation on the emergency rules, The Star-Ledger reported. The state has until April 25 to review and consider the comments before the emergency rules expire.

The change would give the department until June 24 to review comments.

The short turnaround time has been a cause for concern for Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex.

“If the emergency rules expire before the department can consider and address all public comments on the proposed new regulations and file an adoption of those new regulations, there will be no rules or regulations in place regarding the routing of truck traffic until publication of the regulations adoption in the New Jersey Register, leaving New Jersey with very little regulation of truck traffic routes and creating an imminent peril for the citizens of New Jersey,” Wisniewski wrote.

The bill – ACR184 – was approved as a concurrent resolution. That designation expedites the process and allows the change to be enacted without the governor’s signature. It’s now in effect.

Since 1999, the state has banned heavy trucks from many small, undivided local roads in the state.

The ban required 102-inch wide standard trucks and double tractor-trailer combinations traveling through the state to use interstates, the New Jersey Turnpike, the Atlantic City Expressway and parts of Routes 42, 81, 130, 322 and 440.

But a federal appeals court last month ruled the ban violated interstate commerce rights. The decision permitted large trucks to return to highways such as Routes 31 and 206, The Star-Ledger reported.

Since the court ruling, emergency regulations have been put in place prohibiting trucks on county and local roads that are less than 11 feet wide – except for local deliveries.

New Jersey-based truckers interested in commenting on the proposed rules should send them to:

Miriam Crum, Administrative Practice Officer
New Jersey Department of Transportation,
Bureau of Administrative Practice & Public Law Implementation
1035 Parkway Ave., P.O. Box 600
Trenton, NJ 08625-0600

Comments can also be faxed to (609) 530-3841. Comments must be received by April 19.