New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared war on truck drivers who are in violation of a weather related travel ban issued earlier this week.
“This is a disgrace,” Cuomo said of the truckers who violated a tractor trailer ban.
On Tuesday January 29, Cuomo issued a a travel ban forbidding all tractor trailers to travel on several major interstates as well as the New York State Thruway due to a severe winter storm.
But on Wednesday, January 30, after a 21 vehicle pileup on the New York State Thruway that involved tractor trailer drivers who were in violation on the ban, Cuomo declared that there will be much more severe penalties for drivers who violate weather-related bans in the future.
Cuomo said that the regular penalty issued by New York State Police to truck drivers for violating the ban — a $450 fine and two points on the license — was not enough and now he wants troopers to issue criminal charges, according to WETM18.
He said, “It won’t just be a traffic citation. It could be a crime. Under the penal law, there can be a crime under Section 120 for reckless endangerment and assault. So we are not kidding around about the tractor trailer ban. We put it in place. We have the data to show that when tractor trailers violate the ban, bad things happen.”
Cuomo also said that drivers who violate the ban are at risk of losing their CDL. “A criminal infraction could cause them to lose their commercial driver’s license (CDL). So we are 100 percent serious,” he said.
Additionally, Cuomo says that officials will be looking at EZ Pass records to try to locate and punish truck drivers who violated the ban.
On Thursday morning, Cuomo even left his office to tour roads in the Erie County area to personally warn truck drivers not to violate the ban — or else.
— Mark Poloncarz (@markpoloncarz) January 31, 2019
It appears Governor Andrew Cuomo is tracking down trucks that ignore the truck/bus ban himself (or at least this one…
The Governor’s office even shared video of Cuomo personally speaking to truck drivers about the ban. In the video, Cuomo can be heard ordering a truck driver to “Pull over, stay right by the other guy, OK? Because the roads are dangerous.”
The tractor trailer ban remains in place as of 2 p.m. on Thursday, January 31, but weather conditions are improving in the area.