Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove will introduce legislation to prohibit the South Jersey Transportation Authority (SJTA), which operates the Atlantic City Expressway, from charging tolls to ambulances, first-aid or emergency-aid vehicles, or fire trucks from Ocean County.
District 9 lawmakers will introduce legislation to prohibit the SJTA, which operates the Atlantic City Expressway, from charging tolls to ambulances, first-aid or emergency-aid vehicles, or fire trucks from Ocean County. (Flickr)
Currently, the SJTA allows those types of emergency vehicles from Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Salem counties in South Jersey to use SJTA projects toll-free.
The 9th District delegation provided the following reasons for drafting the legislation:
“In yet another example of bureaucratic regulations working against the public good, 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. 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.
“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.
“In response, we will introduce legislation to prohibit the SJTA from charging tolls to emergency vehicles from any county in the New Jersey. Emergency service personnel don’t have the time to deal with nonsensical red tape, which is why we must work to eliminate it.”