New York increases penalties for violating storm-related truck bans

On January 30, in the midst of a truck travel ban on the NY Thruway due to a snow storm, an out-of-state based tractor trailer allegedly jack-knifed before striking a NY State Police Trooper parked on the side of the road. The accident triggered a 21-vehicle pile-up which included four tractor-trailers.

The state trooper suffered a “serious but non-life threatening” injury. In response to the tractor-trailers violating the travel ban, NY Governor Cuomo (D) declared in a press conference: the “pileup was caused by a tractor-trailer that violated the trailer ban and jackknifed and then caused a 20 car pileup… But first I want to emphasize, that the tractor-trailer ban is serious. We’re not asking tractor-trailers and buses to stay off the road. That is a legal ban. And the accidents in Rochester happened because a tractor-trailer violated the ban.

So in situations like this, following the law is not just being a good citizen. If you violate the law in this situation, you can be endangering human lives. On the tractor-trailer ban, the State Police are going to make enforcement a priority. Second of all, the State Police are going to be increasing the penalties for violating the tractor-trailer ban and the bus ban. It won’t just be a traffic citation. Under Vehicle Traffic Law § 1212, it could be a crime. Under the Penal Law, there can be a crime under section 120 for reckless endangerment and assault.”

Drivers charged under these statutes face major blemishes on their CDL records! Please be sure to share this information with your members to ensure they are mindful of such weather related travel bans and the serious risks associated with non-compliance.

For more information, please contact the Trucking Association of New York.