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State v. Ernst

Decided: June 11, 1970.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
ROLAND J. ERNST, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT



Mariano, J.s.c.

Mariano

[110 NJSuper Page 521] Defendant appeals from a conviction in the Municipal Court of the Township of Winslow, Camden

County, where he was charged with violating article 3.3(b) of the regulations promulgated by the Atlantic City Expressway Authority, in that he did, on or about August 12, 1968, operate his motorcycle on the said expressway. The trial here is de novo.

Defendant admits having operated his motorcycle on the expressway but contends that his conviction should be reversed because the regulation is unconstitutional in that (1) it is beyond the statutory power granted to the Expressway Authority; (2) it violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in that it abridges the privileges and immunities of citizens and denies to defendant equal protection of the laws; (3) the regulation is oppressive and discriminatory, and (4) it is arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable in that it bears no relationship to the public safety.

A brief recital of the legislative history dealing with the Atlantic City Expressway is not only necessary to a proper understanding of the issues involved but will also serve a useful purpose.

In 1962 the Legislature adopted the New Jersey Expressway Authority Act, N.J.S.A. 27:12C-1 et seq. Section 4 of the act created the Atlantic City Expressway Authority, which operates the Atlantic City Expressway. The Authority was given broad powers to acquire, construct and maintain a modern express highway in order to facilitate vehicular traffic and minimize hazards on congested highways in the State. N.J.S.A. 27:12C-2. The Authority is authorized "to establish rules and regulations for the use of any project." N.J.S.A. 27:12C-11(i).

On or about July 1, 1964 the Authority promulgated and adopted rules and regulations governing the use of the Expressway. This initial set of regulations contained no prohibition against the use of motorcycles on the Expressway. Thereafter, in May 1967, the rules and regulations were revised so as to totally prohibit the use of motorcycles on

the Expressway. Such prohibition is contained in article 3.3(b) of the regulations and reads as follows:

3.3 Restricted Vehicles

The following vehicles are prohibited at all times from using the Expressway.

a. * * *

b. Bicycles, with or without motors, motor scooters ...


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