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Posted Wednesday, December 16th, 2020

Restrictions Start at 1 p.m. in Preparation for Winter Storm

The New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) has issued a commercial vehicle travel restriction on multiple Interstate highways in New Jersey, including I-78, I-80, I-280 and I-287, starting at 1 p.m., today because of forecasts for heavy snow.

NJ Department of Transportation logoWinter weather is expected to begin in the southern region of the state around midday and move northward, resulting in difficult driving conditions. The travel restrictions are being coordinated with neighboring states. In addition to the commercial restrictions, all motorists are strongly encouraging to stay off the roads. The safest place to be is at home.

The restrictions do not apply to New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway or Atlantic City Expressway 

The commercial vehicle travel restriction will begin at 1 p.m., Wednesday, December 16 and will be in place for the length of the following highways in both directions:
• I-78, from the Pennsylvania border to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike)

• I-80, from the Pennsylvania border to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike)

• I-195, from I-295 to NJ Route 138

• I-280, from I-80 to I-95 (New Jersey Turnpike)

• I-287, from NJ Route 440 to the New York State border

• I-295, from I-195 to the Scudders Falls Bridge (Pennsylvania border)

• NJ Route 440, from the Outerbridge Crossing to I-287

Morris County road crews load salt into trucks in preparation for the weekend's bad weather.

Morris County road crews load salt into trucks in preparation for the storm.

The commercial vehicle travel restriction applies to:
• All tractor trailers (exceptions as listed in the Administrative Order)

• Empty straight CDL-weighted trucks

• Passenger vehicles pulling trailers

• Recreational vehicles

• Motorcycles

This restriction DOES NOT apply to:
Public safety vehicles, sworn and civilian public safety personnel; as well as other personnel directly supporting healthcare facilities or critical infrastructure such as providing fuel or food.

Trucks that are already in New Jersey when the travel restrictions go into place are encouraged to pull off in truck stops to wait out the storm – DO NOT PARK ON SHOULDERS.

The storm is expected to intensify Wednesday evening, making it challenging for plow crews to keep pace with the storm. The NJDOT is fully activated with more than 3,000 plows and salt spreaders ready to clear state highways.

Residents and motorists should avoid driving unless you are an essential employee needed for emergency response. If you do not have to be on the roads during the storm, stay home. The safety of motorists and work crews is the Department’s top priority. If you must drive, do so carefully and plan your trips accordingly, road conditions can change in an instant.

If you see crews on the roads, please stay back and do not pass them. They are clearing the roadways for your safety. If you have to drive, NJDOT advises motorists to:
• Leave early and allow extra time

• Make sure your vehicle is fully fueled

• SLOW DOWN, and obey posted speed limits

• Leave a safe following distance between vehicles

• Use caution on bridges and ramps

• Always STAY CLEAR of plowing and spreading trucks.  If they are behind you, let them pass

• DO NOT pass between trucks that are in a plow formation

• If you are driving and road conditions deteriorate, PULL OFF somewhere safe and wait it out

• Be patient and use caution

• Keep an emergency kit in your car with a cell phone charger, water, snacks and other items.

Check the NJ Office of Emergency Management website for more information on storm preparations.

NJDOT will provide appropriate winter driving alerts through Variable Message Signs, www.511nj.org and Twitter – @NJDOT_Info.