Bad Trucking Laws: NJ Mandates Snow-Free Tractor-Trailers


Starting in October 2010, all vehicles on New Jersey roads will be required to make “reasonable” efforts to clean off ice and snow from their cars and trucks.  Those failing to do so will be fined between $25-$75 per violation.

Yes, this new law will prevent injury and property damage caused by snow flying off the roof of vehicles, but expecting drivers to risk their neck climbing up on top of their trailer  to shovel snow is downright delusional.  Mechanized de-icing equipment is obviously the preferred solution, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a truck stop or service station near your route that has one, and those that have them aren’t cheap.

Truckers will be glad to know that New Jersey has a plan for buying more truck deicing equipment, but this is where things become truly despicable: new equipment purchases will be funded with the fines collected under this law.  Unless the snow removal equipment is purchased with general state funds, this law amounts to an underhanded tax scheme that forces truckers to pay for the equipment out of their own pockets.

Additional details about the law:

  • Drivers will not be fined more than once per day
  • Drivers that have cleaned their vehicle of snow before heading out will not be fined for snow that accumulates while driving
  • Violations result in $25-$75 fines, but no points will be added to the license

Source: Herald News

Image: Andrew Ciscel

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7 comments. Add a comment.

  1. Roy Langford says

    “Reasonable”. A person of reasonable prudence, and caution would not attempt to remove snow from the roof of a trailer without safety equipment.

  2. maajicman says

    Here is another opportunity for a business to be started(which is a good thing). Services to clean trailers off, and the state of NEW JERSEY should be responsible enough to subsidize this effort by reembursments to the trucking companies that make this effort, by rebates on their receipts of service.

  3. Ernie says

    The day I’m faced with this, my company has one of two choices: pay to have it removed or I’ll pay for the rental car to head home. It’s nearly the same issue as on-board recorders vis-a-vis parking: run out of hours, park in the wrong place, get a ticket; on the other hand, run out of hours and do the reasonable thing of finding a safe place to park in violation of a few minutes of a screwed up regulation, get caught, get a ticket that will now follow you around and lable you as a “bad driver” for the next 24 months.

    And ask yourself this: how many carriers will cover this cost since they aren’t going to be held accountable for it? It’ll be like lumpers were in the early and mid-nineties: “We’ll pay you $50 to unload that 53′ trailer we opted to start running. But you have to pay the lumper the $300 he wants out of your own pocket.” I can’t tell you how many times I had been told that…

    Oh… And we all know that this “snow removal” mandate by New Jersey that “doesn’t carry any points” on CDL. They forget the one operative word in that statement: “YET!” Don’t think so? Look back at the seat belt issue. Time was seat belts were not there at all. Then they became optional. Then mandated to be in the vehicle–but not necessarily worn. Next came the “Seat Belts Save Lives” campaign (and it’s true without a doubt) with tickets being issued if you were stopped for some other infraction. Now if you watch you’ll see traffic enforcement officers using binoculars to look into your vehicle to see if you’re wearing or not–and if not you can bet your Visa card you’re getting a ticket. Yes, this issue, too, will creep up on us and we’ll have yet another “serious” violation to extricate you from your living.

  4. w phillips says

    75 dollars isn’t too bad in 2009 i recieved a $222.00 fine here in Nova Scotia for having snow on the roof of my trailer. Thanks D.O.T.

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