In Brief

Truckers must stay right or pay big, under bill Assembly panel to mull Thursday

By: - March 22, 2023 5:33 pm

A new bill would double fines for drivers of trucks weighing five tons or more who illegally use the passing lane of New Jersey highways. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Big rig drivers who defy state law and loiter in the left lane on New Jersey’s roadways would face heftier fines under a bill legislators will consider Thursday.

Fines would double for operators of trucks weighing five tons or more who drive in the leftmost lane of roadways with two or more lanes under a bill introduced in September by Assemblymen Joseph Egan (D-Middlesex) and Wayne DeAngelo (D-Mercer).

Current state law already bans such trucks in the far-left lane of roadways that have at least three lanes heading in the same direction, including the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, and Atlantic City Expressway. Scofflaws face fines of $100 to $300.

If passed, the new bill would boost fines to between $200 and $600. It also would require violators to appear in court, instead of responding to citations by mail or online, and would direct officials at the state transportation department, turnpike authority, South Jersey Transportation Authority, and state courts to report annually on the number of tickets issued, violations committed, and revenue collected for such violations.

Truckers preparing for a left turn, those entering or leaving the roadway by a left entrance or exit, and those responding to emergency conditions would be exempted.

The Assembly’s transportation and independent authorities committee is set to consider the bill Thursday. The bill has no Senate companion.

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Dana DiFilippo
Dana DiFilippo

Dana DiFilippo comes to the New Jersey Monitor from WHYY, Philadelphia’s NPR station, and the Philadelphia Daily News, a paper known for exposing corruption and holding public officials accountable. Prior to that, she worked at newspapers in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and suburban Philadelphia and has freelanced for various local and national magazines, newspapers and websites. She lives in Central Jersey with her husband, a photojournalist, and their two children.