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U.S. Supreme Court

Bradley v. Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, 289 U.S. 92 (1933)

Bradley v. Public Utilities Commission of Ohio

No. 547

Argued March 15, 1933

Decided April 10, 1933

289 U.S. 92


A state commission, after full hearing, denied a certificate of public convenience and necessity to operate by motor, as a common carrier of property, over a particular state highway to the state line with final destination beyond in an adjacent state, upon the ground that the route specified was already so badly congested by motor traffic that the addition of the applicant's proposed services would cause excessive hazard to the safety of travelers and property upon the highway. The applicant, though at liberty to do so, did not apply for another route, nor did he prove that none other was feasible. Held that the order was not void as an exclusion from interstate commerce. P. 289 U. S. 94.

2. A state order denying a common carrier by motor a certificate to engage in interstate commerce, when made to promote a public safety and because of highway congestion, is an exercise of the police power, and its effect on interstate commerce is merely incidental. P. 289 U. S. 95.

3. In dealing with the problem of safety of the highways, as in other problems of motor transportation, the state may adopt measures chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 289 U. S. 93

which favor vehicles used solely in the business of their owners, as distinguished from those which are operated for hire by carriers who use the highways as their place of business. P. 289 U. S. 97.

4. Permitting operation by carriers already certificated, but denying additional certificates to others to avoid dangerous traffic congestion, is consistent with the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 289 U. S. 97.

5. The question whether a state statutory provision makes an unconstitutional discrimination need not be decided when the party complaining does not appear to have been affected by it. P. 289 U. S. 97.

125 Ohio St. 381, 181 N.E. 668, affirmed.

Appeal from a judgment sustaining an order of the Public Utilities Commission which denied a certificate of public convenience and necessity to appellant to operate as a common carrier by motor over a state highway.

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