Truckers Sit Idle as Commercial Vehicles Banned on Interstates

WAYNE COUNTY, Pa. -- At Twin Rocks Diner near Lake Ariel off Interstate 84 in Wayne County, several tractor trailer drivers were sitting as idle as their trucks parked outside.

With a ban in place since 8 p.m. Tuesday night restricting all commercial vehicles from Interstates 84 and 380, there was simply no place to go.

“I need to get to Connecticut,” said truck driver Kevin Walker. “I got to be there at 6 in the morning and I'd like to get about as close as I could tonight but can't do it. I still got three more hours of driving and no reason why I should be stuck here.”

PennDOT imposed that ban due to the winter storm, but these truck drivers are asking themselves, why?

“Aggravated,” said truck driver Doug Lemin. “Why is there a ban when there's no snow? And why is there a ban just for trucks not cars? It's crazy.”

PennDOT says even though there was light snow in Lackawanna and Wayne Counties, elsewhere on the interstates there was a lot, so the ban was kept in place.

Around 4 p.m., PennDOT lifted the ban on commercial vehicles for westbound traffic on Interstate 84 heading into Scranton but kept the ban on the eastbound lanes because Interstate 84 in New York was still closed.

Bob Bolus, the owner of a trucking and towing company in Lackawanna County, says if PennDOT bans trucks from highways, have a planned place for them to go, don't send them onto smaller back roads.

“Trucks coming from California, all over the country, they have no idea where to go,” said Bolus. “There's no facilities, no place to put them. You can only have so many at a truck stop.”

But people living in this area believe banning trucks is the safe thing to do.

“Having driven across the country a couple times and watched 18 wheelers flip because of high wind or skid off the roadway and slam into other cars, yes,” said Danny Barrett of Jefferson Township.

Most of those commercial bans were lifted by 8 p.m. Wednesday. A few more remained in place until midnight. For a complete list, click here.

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