Truckers respond to proposed punishments by Governor Cuomo

Mixed reaction from truckers stuck in WNY

Mike Baggerman
February 01, 2019 - 3:00 am

A tractor trailer pulled over in Grand Island. January 30, 2019 (Photo via NYS Police)


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – Governor Andrew Cuomo’s comments on Thursday about harsher penalties for truck drivers who disobey travel bans drew mixed reaction from truckers who were stuck in the region as a result of the winter storm.

The governor, while speaking Thursday morning, indicated plans to increase penalties to a criminal infraction, which would result in those drivers losing their commercial driver’s licenses.

“We are one 100 percent serious,” Cuomo said. “We’ve asked for it a number of times. We’ve asked for it nicely. We’ve given them prior notice. Now we have seen what happens when that ban is violated again, again, and again.”

Cuomo’s comment referenced the 21-car accident on I-90 Eastbound by Batavia, where a jack-knifed tractor trailer contributed to a serious injury to a New York State trooper. The trooper suffered non-life threatening injuries.

“I think anything that would ensure safety on the roads…I agree with that,” Julius, a truck driver from Georgia, told WBEN.  “Anything that ensures safety on the roads should be done. I think it’s common-sense.”

“That’s a little rough,” David Miller, another driver from Texas, said. “New York is probably pretty strict about their law I’m sure. If any truck gets caught out there, I feel sorry for them because if the ban is up that means no truck at all. They shouldn’t be out there.”

Myles, a truck driver from South Carolina, was one of the drivers who received a ticket on Thursday afternoon. He said that he did not receive or see any communication about a travel ban for tractor trailers.

“The GPS said that the roads were open,” he said. “I heard on the radio that the ban was lifted. I went on to get on the ramp and they gave me a ticket for trying to get on it, even though they told me to turn around and go right back off. It wasn’t only myself. About five other trucks came behind me and they got tickets, too.”


He said losing his CDL wouldn’t make sense because there was no way to know about the closure.

The governor also said they’ll consider utilizing a truck’s EZ-Pass to determine if it traveled along the thruway during the ban. All three of the truckers echoed their previous comments.

The tractor trailer ban concluded Thursday night.



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