April 1, 2008 2:15 PM, EDT

Truckers Stage Some Slowdowns Over Diesel Prices

Truckers slowed to as low as 20 miles per hour on the New Jersey Turnpike on Tuesday, clogging the roadway as part of a nationwide protest against surging diesel fuel prices, Bloomberg reported.

Diesel prices have surged toward $4 a gallon in recent weeks, topping out last week at a record national average price of $3.989, before receding 2.5 cents to $3.964, the Department of Energy said Monday.

The high prices spurred calls for protest nationwide, as trucks were moving slowly at various points along the 148-mile Turnpike, Bloomberg reported.

About 200 drivers gathered at the Vince Lombardi Rest Area in Bergen County, N.J., outside of New York City, a spokesman for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority told Bloomberg. He added that state troopers were breaking up the truckers’ slow-moving convoys in some areas.

Similar protests were occurring near Chicago, where three truck drivers were ticketed for impeding traffic on Interstate 55 for driving at low speeds, and near the Port of Tampa, Fla., where more than 50 big rigs sat idle as their drivers demanded that contractors pay them more to cover their fuel and other costs, the Associated Press reported.