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"Shortest practicable route" as used in 18 U.S.C.S. § 835 is not an expression too vague to be understood. The requirement of reasonable certainty does not preclude the use of ordinary terms to express ideas which find adequate interpretation in common usage and understanding. The use of common experience as a glossary is necessary to meet the practical demands of legislation.
While one of appellant's trucks, en route to Brooklyn, New York, passed through the Holland Tunnel, its loan of carbon bisulphide exploded. Appellant was indicted for knowingly violating an Interstate Commerce Commission regulation, 18 U.S.C.S. § 835, which required drivers of motor vehicles transporting explosives or inflammable liquids to avoid "so far as practicable, and where feasible," by pre-arrangement of routes, driving through congested thoroughfares, tunnels, etc. The district court dismissed the indictment on the ground that the regulation was invalid for vagueness. The court of appeals reversed the district court’s decision. Appellant challenged the decision.
Was 18 U.S.C.S. § 835 invalid, thereby warranting the dismissal of the indictment against the appellant?
The Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals. The Court held that § 835 established a reasonably certain standard of conduct. Therefore, the Court determined that questions of fact regarding appellant’s knowledge were for a jury to determine.