Rhode Island troopers will stop cars with NY plates, but not trucks

Authorities in Rhode Island are attempting to slow the spread of Coronavirus by stopping cars with New York license plates, but they say truckers are exempt.

On March 26, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo issued an executive order that gives state police the authority to stop vehicles with New York license plates.

The move is intended to slow the spread of Coronavirus by ensuring that New Yorkers — who are in the epicenter of the pandemic — respect guidelines that require them to self-quarantine for a 14 day period after leaving the New York City area.

Raimondo said that truck drivers would be exempt from these traffic stops by state police. During a Thursday press conference she said, “Starting tomorrow, the Rhode Island State Police will be stopping passenger vehicles entering Rhode Island with New York license plates. We are not stopping any commercial vehicles or tractor-trailer trucks. We realize these tractor-trailers are vital to interstate commerce and that they will be carrying not only food but PPE and also medicine.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is questioning whether the executive order violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, the CDC has issued guidance for truckers delivering or picking up loads in New York City that exempts them from complying with the 14 day self-quarantine period. The CDC guidance, does, however, encourage truckers to stay in their vehicles as much as possible, practice social distancing, and to use electronic receipts when possible.