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Mahwah Officials Say N.J. DOT Won't Help With Trucks Using I-287 As Rest Stop

MAHWAH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Local officials said Friday that they are not getting help from the State of New Jersey for a traffic safety issue on Interstate 287 in Mahwah, where truckers pull over to get some rest.

As WCBS 880's Sean Adams reported, Mahwah was looking for the state Department of Transportation to do something about trucks using the 287 shoulder as a rest stop.

At night on the interstate, parked trucks loom suddenly on the right shoulder -- one after another, CBS2's Lou Young reported last week. Police said it was a tragedy waiting to happen.

But the DOT said it is a law enforcement issue.

"That's what frustrates people, is when government agencies just want to push it off on another agency and don't want to take the responsibility," said Mahwah police Chief James Batelli.

Batelli said last year, a driver plowed into the back of a parked truck and was killed. He said there are other dangers.

"If you're driving 65 miles an hour and it's 10 o'clock at night and it's dark out and you see four lights from the back of a trailer and he's traveling 10 miles an hour, trying to accelerate speed as fast he can," he said.

Part of the problem is that the road narrows from three lanes to two in one direction, and widens to three in the other. Batelli hopes state engineers can take a look at the road configuration.

He would also like more signs to warn truckers not to stop.

So far, the New Jersey DOT is not involved.

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