OOIDA presents oral arguments in Indiana toll lawsuit

Representing OOIDA, Paul Cullen Sr. called Indiana’s tolls on truckers discriminatory. Specifically, a 35% increase in truck tolls creates an undue burden. The Commerce Clause, according to the lawsuit, “imposes limitations upon the authority of states to undertake measures that create an undue burden upon, or that discriminate against, interstate commerce.”

In 2018, Indiana tolls for trucks increased by 35%. Cullen said it could be argued that the truck toll rate adequately represented trucking’s fair share of costs. However, the large toll increase was not justified by any increase in costs of trucks using the road, causing an undue burden.

During oral arguments, the court asked Cullen if Indiana tolls are excessive compared to benefits received, why would drivers continue to use the toll road when they have other options? In other words, the free market acts as a self-correcting system. Cullen argued that alternate routes were never considered in previous cases. Regardless, there are many reasons why a driver would choose to use the turnpike, including superior roads and safety.