The defendant, Levitan Interstate Transport, Inc., a New Jersey corporation, appeals from a judgment of conviction entered in the Randolph Township Municipal Court, wherein said defendant was adjudged guilty of a violation of N.J.S.A. 39:3-84.3.
The conviction was predicated upon a finding that the tractor-trailer apprehended on March 16, 1959, on Route 10 in Randolph Township, Morris County, New Jersey, was registered for a gross weight of 30,000 pounds for vehicle and load, whereas the actual gross weight, when weighed by the State Police, amounted to 45,900 pounds, with a consequent unlawful overweight of 15,900 pounds.
The particular trailer involved started its journey in Greenville, South Carolina, where it was loaded. The ultimate destination was Newton, New Jersey. It was owned by a North Carolina corporation, and duly registered under the law of North Carolina for a weight of 17,000 pounds. It was towed by a tractor owned by a North Carolina corporation and also registered in that state, for a weight of 41,000 pounds. When this tractor-trailer arrived at Avenel, New Jersey, the tractor of the North Carolina corporation was detached and the tractor of the defendant corporation attached.
This was necessary because the operator of the North Carolina tractor was a licensed interstate commerce carrier with a franchise route that did not extend to Newton. Additionally, it was asserted to be advantageous for various reasons to permit participation of a New Jersey carrier in the transportation of goods ultimately destined for use in the State of New Jersey.
Defendant's tractor was registered in New Jersey for a gross weight of 13,000 pounds, so that when the vehicle was stopped and weighed by the State Police, the driver had in his possession a New Jersey registration for the tractor showing a registered weight of 13,000 pounds and a North Carolina registration for the trailer showing a registered weight of 17,000 pounds.
N.J.S.A. 39:3-15 permits motor vehicles and trailers registered in the state of the non-resident to be operated in this State where the free operation of a similar type of vehicle registered in and belonging to a New Jersey resident is permitted in the state of the non-resident. Section 20-83 of the Motor Vehicle Laws of North Carolina is substantially to the same effect. In addition, however, the cited North Carolina statute contains the further provision that:
"When a resident carrier of this State interchanges a properly licensed trailer or semi-trailer with another carrier who is a resident of another state, and adequate records are on file in his office to verify such interchanges, the North Carolina licensed
carrier may use the trailer licensed in such other state the same as if it is his own during the time the nonresident carrier is using the North Carolina licensed trailer."
The fact that such latter provision is not incorporated in the New Jersey statute does not preclude reciprocity to North Carolina vehicles to the extent that the respective reciprocal provisions apply.
The principle of reciprocity is not in issue. The registration of the North Carolina trailer was proper, but the State asserts that the gross weight of the defendant's New Jersey tractor, the North Carolina trailer and load, constitutes an ...