Route 108 is one of the most scenic roadways in the Green Mountains of Vermont, but if you are an over-the-road hauler, it could be one of the most expensive – if you get stuck traversing Smuggler’s Notch. The notch road passes between Stowe and Jeffersonville and is notorious for unsuspecting truckers because it just isn’t wide or straight enough for large tractor-trailer units.
In an attempt to prevent hang-ups by trucks longer than 46 feet because of the narrow, twisting roadway, state law now requires a fine of up to $1,000 for truckers who attempt to travel through the notch, and up to $2,000 if the truck gets stuck and impedes traffic.
Despite large signs at both ends of the notch road admonishing large truck drivers to stay out of the notch, Vermont officials report that as many as ten trucks get stuck every year forcing a shutdown of the road for several hours.
Since 2009, there have been 38 reports of trucks getting stuck with the most recent being May 26. There were four reports of stuck trucks in 2015, and seven in 2014. The most active year for trucks getting stuck in the corridor was 2013, when 10 trucks were reported stuck.
The law also requires the Vermont Agency of Transportation to erect more signs to attract the driver’s attention to the issue.
For repeat offenders within a two-year period, the fines will be doubled.
Just last week a driver of an 18 wheeler apparently ignored obvious signage prohibiting tractor-trailer units from traversing Route 108 through Smugglers Notch. The driver was fined $2,000.