BIBB V. NAVAJO FREIGHT LINES, INC., 359 U. S. 520 (1959)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Bibb v. Navajo Freight Lines, Inc., 359 U.S. 520 (1959)

Bibb v. Navajo Freight Lines, Inc.

No. 94

Argued March 30-31, 1959

Decided May 25, 1959

359 U.S. 520


As applied to interstate motor carriers operating under certificates of public convenience and necessity issued by the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Illinois statute here involved which requires trucks and trailers operating on that State's highways to be equipped with a specified type of rear fender mudguard which would be illegal in Arkansas, which is different from those permitted in at least 45 other States, and which would seriously interfere with the "interline" operations of motor carriers, is invalid because it unduly and unreasonably burdens interstate commerce in violation of Art. I, § 8 of the Constitution. Pp. 359 U. S. 521-530.

(a) Even state safety regulations must yield when they run afoul of the policy of free trade reflected in the Commerce Clause. Pp. 359 U. S. 523-524, 359 U. S. 528-529.

(b) Interchanging mudguards on trucks and trailers at the border of Illinois is a time-consuming task, and the necessity to use welding might mean that some trucks or trailers would have to be unloaded and loaded again -- all of which adds up to a serious burden on interstate commerce not justified by a compelling need for this new safety measure. Pp. 359 U. S. 527-528.

(c) The record in this case shows that this is one of those exceptional cases where a state safety regulation in the exercise of the police power places such a heavy burden on interstate commerce, uncompensated by compelling advantages of safety, that it violates the Commerce Clause. Pp. 359 U. S. 529-530.

159 F.Supp. 385, affirmed.

Page 359 U. S. 521

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