Trucking Group Blasts NYC’s $7,000 Citations on Overweight Trucks as “Blatantly Unfair”
New York, NY – A trucking group is warning New York City (NYC) mayor Bill de Blasio’s “blatantly unfair” executive order to crackdown on overweight trucks along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) could lead to “catastrophic” consequences.
On Friday, January 31, Mayor de Blasio signed Executive Order No. 51 which instructs the New York Police Department (NYPD) to step up enforcement on overweight big rigs along the BQE beginning today.
According to state law, enforcement officials can issue fines as much as $7,000 to truckers operating tractor-trailers determined to be in violation of the 80,000 pound weight limit.
de Blasio says such measures are warranted following the release of findings from a new study conducted by the BQE Expert Panel, which was commissioned to evaluate the best options to preserve the structural integrity of the BQE.
According to the BQE Expert Panel’s 72-page report, “state-of-the-art sensors” determined some trucks along the roadway are as much as 170,000 pounds, more than double the allowable weight.
“Such excessive weight can do serious damage, with consequences for the roadway’s structural integrity,” de Blasio said.
The BQE carries about 150,000 vehicles each day which includes approximately 15,000 trucks.
SBTC Warns Executive Order Could Be “Catastrophic” For NYC
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) has obtained a letter from the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) sent to Mayor de Blasio warning him of potentially “catastrophic” consequences for NYC if he follows through on his “misguided and blatantly unfair” order.
In the letter, SBTC president James Lamb issues a scathing rebuke of what he describes as de Blasio’s “egregious political use of trucks as a scapegoat to deflect from government’s failure to properly maintain infrastructure within the city.”
“While the SBTC does not condone illegal operation of overweight trucks and counsels its members to operate lawfully, we also believe that $7,000 fines for overweight violations are an excessive mechanism to deal with truckers’ violations, many of whom, are small business owners.”
Further, Lamb says, that most American truckers are hesitant to haul loads into NYC due to “gross traffic congestion and the excessive regulatory climate.”
Lamb also specifically points to a statement de Blasio made at the signing of Executive Order No. 51 that has many truckers fuming.
According to multiple media reports de Blasio stated,
“So much of what we depend on is by truck. We’re going to be dependent on trucks for so much of what we need for a long, long time. And we don’t want them on our city streets.”
In response, Lamb writes,
“This statement has sent the message to the trucking industry that the Mayor of New York does not welcome trucks and the American citizens who drive trucks in your city. We want you to know that as truckers across America digested this statement this past weekend on social media, they immediately began to call for a work stoppage due to this insult and began making pledges to no longer accept loads going to New York City.”
Lamb says the SBTC is not calling for a boycott, but if one transpires it could lead to a “mass panic” among residents and eventually to the city’s “complete and utter devastation.”
Even if only a “small minority of truckers” chose to boycott the city, Lamb asserts, transportation costs would “rise significantly as a matter of supply and demand and such costs would ultimately be passed on to New York City’s consumers, many of whom already struggle to pay high rents, mortgages and real estate taxes.”
Lamb asserts de Blasio should at least “reveal to the media and public that truckers and motor carriers already pay their fair share of taxes used for infrastructure maintenance and repair and then-some.”
Read the full letter HERE.
TNN will continue to follow new developments.
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