Bill Would Prevent State Highway from Charging Tolls to NJ Emergency Vehicles

Mar 13, 2019

Sen. Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove are introducing legislation to prohibit the South Jersey Transportation Authority, which operates the Atlantic City Expressway, from charging tolls to ambulances, fire trucks, first aid or emergency aid vehicles from Ocean County or any other county in the state.

Currently, the authority allows emergency vehicles from Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties to use SJTA projects toll-free.

“Our delegation recently learned that a volunteer emergency services organization from our legislative district was charged a toll while transporting a patient on the Atlantic City Expressway,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. “After several appeals by the first aid squad, the SJTA reluctantly waived the administration fee for failure to pay the toll, as though that would somehow address the core issue of charging tolls to emergency vehicles.

“When contacting the SJTA regarding this incident, it was made clear to our delegation that the SJTA was unwilling to extend the toll-exemption to emergency service vehicles from Ocean County, despite the limited number of instances when the exemption might be utilized.”

The delegation added, “We found this response to be completely unreasonable and a textbook case of bureaucratic indifference. After all, we are talking about ambulances transporting patients in need of medical care and first responders heading to emergencies.

“Emergency service personnel don’t have the time to deal with nonsensical red tape, which is why we must work to eliminate it.”  —J.K.-H.

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