There is a ban on tractor trailers and buses driving on upstate highways due to the extreme weather conditions. WBFO’s Nick Lippa spoke with a drivers at Jim’s Truck Plaza in Cheektowaga to see what they planned to do.
Shaun Maine is one of several truck drivers out in the frigid cold keeping his truck warm while the ban is in effect. He said he’s seen guys throughout the day ignore the ban to get on the road, but doesn’t think it’s worth the risk.
“You got to double check everybody around you.” Maine said. “You got to double check everything… weather conditions. This thing starts sliding on you, there’s no stopping. You just hold on and pray for dear life.”
“$2000 dollar fine if you get caught on the road.” When asked if that’s something that ever happened to him, Maine replied, “No. And I don’t intend to.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo said state troopers are patrolling major roadways and will enforce the ban.
“It is, first, not intelligent. Because if the roads are dangerous, they shouldn’t want to be on the roads anyway. And it’s also illegal,” said Cuomo. “I can’t tell you how many issues and how many trouble spots are caused by tractor trailers that, for one reason or another, are involved in an accident.”
Cuomo said ignorance isn’t usually the reason these drivers stay on the road during a ban.
“They get prior notice. And we make a point of giving them prior notice,” Cuomo said. “So no one can say I didn’t know …. I was already in route. This was done yesterday, this was done the day before. We contacted the trucking association so everybody knows.”
Virginia native Jared Owen is driving a tractor trailer alone for the first time in New York. He said he won’t risk the fine.
“I saw the ban and heard how serious it was on the radio, saying they might revoke your license and stuff if you’re caught,” Owen said. “So I went and pulled over in this little truck stop since I don’t know when the ban is going to be over. I’d rather be safe than sorry. I’ve seen too many people lose their lives risking it.”
The governor’s office says the bans will last for the duration of the storm.
“My companies rather you miss your appointment and be safe than lose your load,” said Owen. “They always said no load is too hot to cool off in the ditch.”
Our newsroom view of the I-190 gives us the perfect spot to see if trucks really are observing the ban pic.twitter.com/oYG8TDjube
— WBFO (@WBFO) January 30, 2019