Truck ban — Common sense or cover your @$$?
I was surprised to learn that with the 4th nor'easter in March came a ban on all trucks on certain highways. Specifically, the New Jersey State Police ordered a ban which became effective Tuesday night at 8pm for the entire length of 78, 80, 280 and 287 and applied to all tractor trailers, not just empty trailers. In addition to all tractor trailers the ban applied to empty straight CDL-weighted trucks, recreational vehicles, passenger vehicles pulling trailers and motorcycles.
Why was I surprised? Because outside of an outright statewide travel ban which is rarely ordered I couldn't remember a time when all trucks were banned from certain major highways like this. The reason seems obvious. Two weeks ago during the March 7th nor'easter highways ground to a halt and motorists were stranded for over 8 hours after a number of tractor-trailers became disabled. Search and rescue crews came via snowmobile to save stranded motorists.
While the orders come from the New Jersey State Police I have to wonder if the Murphy administration doesn't want a repeat of that disaster, and understandably so. But we've been hearing that the ban isn't being enforced, at least not at the time I'm writing this. The station has received calls and I've had email asking why they're seeing trucks on these highways when they're legally banned. My guess is since the roads have not been all that treacherous police are either looking the other way or giving only warnings. I assume as conditions worsen either the truckers will heed the ban or police, if not too busy with more pressing things, will begin pulling them over.
But is it fair? Maybe it's just common sense and maybe I'm only reacting to this because I don't recall hearing this done before. But I have to imagine not all truckers are going to simply give up on their haul and park their rigs for 12 hours and lose money. I have to imagine many truckers if not most are going to be forced by the ban to try to take to secondary roads which historically are not as promptly maintained in storms like these and could possibly make matters worse elsewhere.
I'm no trucker. I'm a layman. So we want your opinion. Is the truck ban fair? Take our poll.
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