Newsletter of the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association – May 2018

Newsletter of the

Illinois Truck Enforcement Association

May 2018

Letter from President

It may not seem like it, but summer is just around the corner. Road projects will begin, and trucks will start operating in full force. This is a good time to remind drivers to check their trucks and loads, ensure they are complying with all safety measures and remind truck officers the key goal to any traffic enforcement is the safety of the motoring public.

Together we can make Illinois’ roads safer and show those who choose to operate unsafely that there is no place here for them. Education is the key and the primary function of the ITEA. A good truck officer will spend a little time with the truck he has stopped to help educate the driver on why they were pulled over and how to avoid it in the future.

Looking forward to May, our portable scale certification is scheduled for the 8th and 9th at Advanced Weighing Systems in Addison. Our basic class is scheduled in September and our advanced class will be held in October. More information on those events are below.

Stay safe…

Marc Fisher

President

 

Oxcart Company of the Month

Peter Baker & Son Company of Lake Bluff, IL has been selected as the April 2018 Oxcart Carrier of the Month! Peter Baker & Son Company specializes in the production and installation of bituminous asphalt materials for both public and private customers. The company was founded in 1915 and received a 100th Anniversary proclamation from Governor Bruce Rauner in August 2015.

Thank you, Peter Baker & Son Company, for your longevity as business in Illinois and being a leader in local oversize/overweight permit compliance. Enjoy your complimentary membership with the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association!

 

Scale Certification Dates

Advanced Weighing Systems has announced their next State of Illinois portable scale certification dates.

May 8th and May 9th

To schedule an appointment with Advanced Weighing Systems contact them at, 630-916-6179 or visit www.scaledealer.com

 

Basic and Advanced Truck Enforcement Officer Class

The College of DuPage Suburban Law Enforcement Academy will once again host the ITEA basic and advanced truck enforcement classes.

The basic class will be held September 24-28, 2018 and will include portable scale certification on the last day of class. This training is the best truck enforcement training in the state and we continue to keep it current and relevant to today’s laws.

The cost to attend is $295.00. To register click here.

The advanced class has been beneficial in helping certified officers extend their knowledge base and look deeper into the trucks they stop. The class teaches truck officers to better understand what it takes for a truck driver to operate in Illinois. The class will be held October 8-12, 2018.

The cost to attend is $295.00. To register clicker here.

 

ITEA 2018 Handbooks

We are excited to announce the availability of the ITEA handbook. This handbook is the resource for Illinois truck laws. Inside you will find cheat sheets for the bridge formula, a list of vehicles and their allowed weights, all the ITEA standards of Practice and more.

The books are available for $25.00 including shipping and can be purchased by clicking here.

 

Illinois State Police Update

Drivers Operating a CMV without an ELD Will Be Placed Out of Service

APRIL 1st, 2018

Starting April 1st, 2018, property-carrying commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers operating their vehicle without a required registered electronic logging device (ELD) or a grandfathered automatic on-board recording device (AOBRD), will be placed out of service for 10 hours; passenger-carrying CMV drivers will be placed out of service for 8 hours.

Violations will be recorded on a roadside inspection report and the driver may be cited (e.g., issued a violation ticket or a civil penalty) for failing to have a required electronic record of duty status.

After 8 or 10 hours out of service, the driver may continue to their final destination, provided the driver has accurately documented their hours-of-service requirements using a paper record of duty status (e.g., log book, daily log or log) and has a copy of the inspection report and/or citation.

If the driver is stopped again before reaching his/her final destination, the driver must provide the safety official with a copy of the inspection report and evidence (e.g., bill of lading) proving that he/she is still on the continuation of the original trip.

After reaching their final destination, if the driver is re-dispatched again without obtaining a compliant ELD, he/she will again be subject to the out-of-service process outlined above, unless the driver is traveling back to the principle place of business or terminal empty to obtain an ELD.

All ELD violations will be counted against a motor carrier’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) score, which will drive selection for investigation within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. FMCSA will determine appropriate action against non-compliant motor carriers.

Please note that motor carriers that installed and used an AOBRD prior to Dec. 18, 2017, may install and use additional ELD-capable devices with complaint AOBRD software after Dec. 18, 2017. These AOBRDs may be used until Dec. 16, 2019, and must meet the requirements of 49 CFR 395.15.

The ELD footnotes 11-14 in Part I of the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria are now in effect, which means that drivers operating CMVs with violations related to ELD compliance in those footnotes will be placed out of service for 8 or 10 hours, then permitted to continue, as outlined above.

Remember, the ELD mandate does not change the underlying hours-of-service requirements.

For more information, visit FMCSA’s ELD implementation website.

 

Advertisers wanted– interested in helping support the ITEA and obtain some brand recognition?

Already a member? You are eligible for free advertising on our social media platforms!

Contact Chris Maxwell at cmaxwell@illinoistruckcops.com for more information.

Place an ad in our monthly newsletter which reaches almost 1,000 people.

Contact Marc Fisher at mfisher@illinoistruckcops.com for more information

 

ITEA Board of Directors

Brian Cluever

Executive Director

cluever@illinoistruckcops.com

 

Marc Fisher

President

mfisher@illinoistruckcops.com

 

Jeff Moos

Vice President

moos@illnoistruckcops.com

 

Chris Maxwell

Secretary

cmaxwell@illinoistruckcops.com

 

Tom Hall

Treasurer

tom@illinoistruckcops.com

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ITEA March Newsletter

Newsletter of the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association
March 2018

Letter from the President,

Last month, we tackled some important issues for the trucking industry and law enforcement alike. Recently two bills were proposed in the Illinois Senate, SB3098 and SB2918. These bills will affect how the industry obtains their oversize overweight permits and the cost associated with them.

SB3098 takes permitting authority away from local agencies and gives total control to the Illinois Department of Transportation. While this may simplify the process for the industry, it will remove the ability to contact a local authority and make sure the safest route is being taken. There is also no recourse for local authorities to recoup the money from the permits to maintain their roads or ensure the trucking company is insured in the event of a crash or damage.

SB2918 forces local permitting to be at the same cost as IDOT permits. The Illinois Department of Transportation has not changed their rates in decades, and there is nothing to say that passage of this bill will keep those rates as they stand now. Each community should have the ability to set their rates as they see fit to maintain their roads.

A hearing was set for February 27th, 2018 for SB2918. As of this writing the outcome is unknown.

The Illinois Truck Enforcement Association has worked to be the middleman between truck enforcement and the trucking industry. Great strides have been made to simplify the permitting process in Illinois and help the industry move across the state with less police interaction. We believe we can continue the education we began nine years ago to make Illinois a truck friendly state. Thank you for your membership and support. Let’s keep working together to make Illinois’ truck laws work for every citizen in Illinois and not just create more bureaucracy.

Marc Fisher

President

Annual Conference Update

The ITEA is gearing up for the annual conference. Set to showcase:
DOT Inspections
IDOT Permit Section
Illinois Secretary of State CDL updates and more!

Lunch is included!

Pheasant Run Resort St. Charles, Illinois March 29, 2018 from 8am-4pm. You can purchase tickets HERE!

Oxcart Carrier of the Month

Oxcart Permit Systems is proud to announce Mil/Ron Trucking of Plainfield, IL was selected as the February Carrier of the Month!

Mil/Ron specializes in hauling of oversize loads, particularly pre-cast concrete, to many municipalities and projects throughout the Chicagoland region. Mil/Ron has shown exceptional compliance when it comes to obtaining local OSOW permitting.

This not only promotes the integrity of their company, but protects local public safety and infrastructure. Congrats Mil/Ron and enjoy your complimentary membership to the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association!

IDOT Permit Conference

The Illinois Department of Transportation will once again be hosting their customer conferences this month.

IDOT will host their meeting at the ITEA annual conference at Pheasant Run March 29, 2018. There is no cost to attend IDOT’s meeting, but why not purchase a ticket for the ITEA conference and be even more informed on all things truck law?

To sign up for the IDOT customer conference at any location click HERE!

Tuesday March 20, 2018 9 am-Noon Hanley Building Auditorium, 2300 South Dirksen Parkway, Springfield Illinois

Thursday March 22, 2018 9 am-Noon, State of Illinois Complex, Rooms 211 & 212, 1102 Eastport Plaza Drive, Collinsville Illinois

Illinois State Police Update

See the following bulletin in regard to portable electronic logging devices from our friends at CVSA.

http://cvsa.org/wp-content/uploads/Inspection-Bulletin-2017-05-Handheld-and-ELDs.pdf

Advertisers wanted– interested in helping support the ITEA and obtain some brand recognition?

Place an ad in our monthly newsletter which reaches almost 1,000 people and grows all the time!

Contact Marc Fisher at mfisher@illinoistruckcops.com for more information

ITEA Board of Directors

Brian Cluever

Executive Director

cluever@illinoistruckcops.com

Marc Fisher

President

mfisher@illinoistruckcops.com

Jeff Moos

Vice President

moos@illnoistruckcops.com

Chris Maxwell

Director of Public Information

cmaxwell@illinoistruckcops.com

Tom Hall

Treasurer

tom@illinoistruckcops.com

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The Death of the Weekly Blog

In November 2011, the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association launched the first installment of weekly blog posts. This first article was titled “Dirty Lyle” and it set the tone for the next six years of blog posts: police officers and truckers must work together to keep Illinois safe and make trucking profitable. Now, after more than 220,000 words in 318 articles, the weekly blog is coming to an end on this last day of 2017. But don’t think for a second the ITEA is driving off the shoulder of the information superhighway…quite to the contrary. Read on to find out what is in store for the faithful readers in 2018.

First a little housekeeping. The blog, technically speaking, is not going anywhere. Every article will remain live and on the web for the eternity of this organization. These posts represent the lifeblood of the ITEA and will survive for reference, historical perspective and a good laugh.

In its place, the ITEA will begin marketing a monthly newsletter via email in January 2018. Each newsletter will contain smaller, condensed articles of news in the truck enforcement world. This will allow the ITEA to promote more content, in less space, than a weekly blog post. If you get the weekly email, you will automatically receive the monthly newsletter.

To speak technically again, the blog is not 100% dead either. There will be times when events impacting law enforcement or the trucking industry will need an extended article. It could be a new piece of legislation, a training event or a thorn needing to be pulled. It those times, the blog as you have known it may be resurrected for a specific purpose.

It’s been a good run! Through this blog and it’s many contributing authors, a ton of ground has been covered. Complex laws have been explained. Educational opportunities have been promoted. Misunderstandings have been straightened out. Precedents have been set.

The blog has not survived without its own controversies however. Rogue enforcement practices, incorrect teaching methodologies and general anti-police or anti-trucking sentiments have been exposed and extinguished.

Through a few adversarial blog posts, the ITEA lost some friends and made some enemies. It happens. Nobody said truth is an easy pill to swallow. The goal of the ITEA, using electronic communication mediums, has been to provide the facts no matter how much it hurts.

The ITEA will not focus on those the blog has alienated. Olive branches were always offered and refused. So be it. This organization will continue to fight the good fight and promote the positive results from professionally speaking truth.

Articles appearing on this blog have been reproduced in local, regional and national publications of various partner organizations. Law enforcement periodicals, trucking magazines and other governmental groups have duplicated the content in their own rags.

The best encouragement the ITEA has received is the never-ending appreciation from those readers from all different occupations. Every event ITEA leaders attend, anywhere in the nation, yields compliments from the thousands of readers who have found these articles in their inbox every Sunday morning. Not all articles apply to everyone, but each reader has found something beneficial from one post or another.

The ITEA would like to thank all the sponsors who have financially underwritten the cost of the blog each week. Mid-west Truckers Association, the Connolly Law Office, The Mulch Center, Advanced Weighing Systems, and Oxcart Permit Systems – thank you for making this happen. Your partnership with the ITEA has been nothing short of awesome.

See you in a few weeks! Until then, keep the bugs off your glass and the bears off your…tail?

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We Are All In This Together

At any major event people are seen wearing different hats while working together to accomplish the same goal. At sporting events, there are tickets takers, ushers, vendors and security all working in harmony to ensure the spectators have a fun experience. When a catastrophe hits, people come together from police and fire departments, and federal agencies all to keep citizens safe and begin the process of cleanup and rebuilding. In the world of truck enforcement, there are many organizations working together to keep the roads safe and the American economy rolling. So how do these people from different agencies work together?

At highest level is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA establishes the rules and regulations which affect trucks crossing state lines. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) are thorough and can be daunting. This is why the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the Illinois Trucking Association, Illinois Farm Bureau and the Midwest Trucker’s Association work to provide their members information they need to stay legal and safe.

On the flipside of the regulatory coin is the Illinois State Police (ISP). In Illinois, ISP is the only agency allowed to enforce the FMCSR. These troopers are specially trained to inspect trucks and check logbooks among other things. No other organization in Illinois has this authority. When a local officer stops a truck, and see things he feels may not be safe, his course of action should be to reach out to his state police district and ask for help.

Over the years, the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association has worked hard to build a great working relationship with the Illinois State Police. Many troopers support what the ITEA is trying to accomplish. The ITEA’s ability to educate the carrier industry on state law, as well as using ISP as a resource in federal regulation education, has been noticed throughout the industry.

This past year, the ITEA annual conference was held with many representatives of the trucking industry in attendance. Some of the best feedback received reflected how well ISP presented relevant information. One of the big questions from a trucking company is about inspections and the willingness of ISP to present directly to the trucking industry. Their willingness to be available and to answer their questions proved meaningful.

As the ITEA grows, building relationships with agencies and organizations who believe in the same mission, will continue. This mission is to provide high quality information to the trucking industry so they can operate in a safe and legal manner as well as teach law enforcement the ethical way to enforce laws.

As you look at roads in Illinois, notice one thing: all state routes lead to a local road. Truck drivers, local police officers and state troopers are all working together to keep these roads safe. The Illinois Truck Enforcement Association will continue to collaborate with any agency whose goal is to keep America growing.

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All Fowled Up

The trucking industry is infatuated with the poultry industry. Ever seen a left lane chicken train speed past you? Ever said “cluck cluck chicken truck” when there’s a rooster cruiser feathered in chicken lights nearby? Even police officers get winged at weigh stations, or “chicken coops”. As the nation rounds out the Thanksgiving weekend, it’s apparent the turkey has been left out of the bucket of chicken…except, in Illinois.

Only in Illinois can legislation be introduced which is so bizarre it leaves a person hungry to read more. There, between the stuffing and cranberry sauce of pay-to-play bills in the 100th General Assembly, is draft legislation giving turkeys more “rights” under the law.

Apparently, turkey farms (like Big Jim’s Turkeys & Dumplings) in Illinois have been suffering financial losses each year. As people have begun to celebrate “Friendsgiving” at other moments during the year, this has hurt the November turkey market.

Also, other holiday dishes (such as the Turducken) have inspired Illinoisans to share the poultry market with duck, chicken and other assorted birds. What was once a monopoly for the turkey farms has slowly been eroded to a point of financial crisis.

To add insult to injury, cash-strapped Cook County is attempting to plug their never-ceasing and expanding $200 billion budget hole with the “Turkey Tax”. Of course it’s killing sales, except at grocery stores along the collar county borders. Even though Cook County has waged an expensive battle claiming the health risks of tryptophan, the napping public is well aware this is only an attempt to gather more gravy.

The turkey farmers like Big Jim are outraged, and rightfully so. Their product has been the wishbone of Illinois meals for decades. Shifting preferences and greedy local politicians should not be able to diminish their profits. This is not what the Pilgrims imagined at that historic first dinner with the natives.

In response, the incredibly powerful turkey lobby in Springfield has introduced SB6253 which is designed to help revitalize the turkey market. Here is a synopsis:

1.   The Governor, at anytime, may declare an emergency turkey harvest, exempting farmers from all size and weight laws on state highways. Locals may follow suit, but are not required.

2.   Outside of an emergency declaration, IDOT and local authorities are required to issue free-range permits for oversize/overweight turkey trucks, as turkeys are now considered non-divisible loads.

3.   The Commercial Distribution Fee is waived for all trucks owned, leased or brokered by turkey farmers.

4.   Cook County, and any other unit of home rule government, are prohibited from introducing taxes specifically aimed at the turkey industry.

5.   The turkey will replace the Northern Cardinal as the Illinois state bird, and the governor annually will issue a proclamation as such.

6.   The Apple iOS and Google Droid mobile platforms operating within Illinois are required to promote turkey emojis and disable other poultry graphics during the month of November.

7.   Local fire departments are prohibited from disseminating literature, whether in written or electronic form, exposing the dangers of turkey fryers.

8. Elementary school teachers are required to have each child create hand-turkeys or risk cuts to their State funding.

While these regulations may seem like legislators are talking tough, rest assured they are probably only talking turkey. There’s really no other way to carve it up.

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2017 Truck Officer of the Year Award

How is a hero defined? Webster’s Dictionary defines a hero as “a person admired for achievements and noble qualities.” Ask a child who they say a hero is and they say Superman, Batman or their parents. In the world of truck enforcement, a hero is the police officer who does his best to be a model for teamwork, ethics and integrity. How does one know who that officer is? Read on to find out!

For several years, the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association has been honoring local police officers who have shown they not only care about policing trucks, but protecting the trucking industry through their enforcement. These officers have realized the safety of Illinois’ roads is more important than creating revenue for the areas they serve.

A good truck officer continues his education well beyond the basic truck enforcement classes. He or she makes connections and relies on others when they are unsure if they are making the correct decision. That same officer is also a resource for other police officers, as well as the driver and companies he works with on the street.

Police officers take an ethical oath of office when they are sworn into service. They swear they will uphold the laws to the best of their abilities. A top-notch truck officer takes the oath further and agrees they will not bend laws to fit their needs. Illinois truck law is complicated, and all police officers should be on the same page when it comes to interpretation and enforcement of the laws.

Unfortunately, the history of truck enforcement in Illinois has had questionable moments. For instance, officers have been taught if they do not have scales to weigh a truck, they could use any weight information available to write a ticket based on non-statutory evidence.

Practices like this do not fit the integrity model a good police officer holds dear. Throughout the history of the ITEA, many poor enforcement practices which were once commonplace have been corrected. The Truck Officer of the Year award showcases how an officer’s integrity comes before ticket writing and revenue creating.

2017 is the fourth year for the Glenn Strebel Truck Officer of the Year award. The past three winners have been excellent stewards of the award and have continued to be models for future recipients. Glenn Strebel, the police officer for whom the award is named, was a part-time police officer for East Dundee, Illinois. As the ITEA was being created in 2009, Glenn passed away from cancer. This award is a way for the ITEA to honor officers like Glenn, who believed in the mission the ITEA would soon undertake.

The first award winner was Sergeant Andrew Thomas of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office in 2015. Sergeant Thomas has continued to share his knowledge with new truck officers by teaching at the ITEA’s state certified classes.

In 2016, the honor went to Vernon Hills Police Officer Art Fink. Officer Fink created a truck enforcement program when there wasn’t one, and became a driving force of fair truck enforcement practices in Lake County. Officer Fink continues to be a leader by serving on the board of the ITEA and helping with various programs directed at training police officers and the trucking industry.

The current award recipient is Officer Tim Sheldon of the Hillsboro Police Department. Officer Sheldon has been an integral part of bringing high standards of truck enforcement to a part of the state with very little enforcement. Officer Sheldon continues to participate with the ITEA and spread the mission to places outside of the Chicago suburbs.

So now it’s up to the readers to nominate the award winner for 2017. The nomination process is now open and can be found at the ITEA website HERE. Please take a moment to honor a police officer who is doing things right.

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Avoiding the Pilot Car Patchwork

In 2013, Illinois was the last State in the Union to pass a law to allow concealed carry of firearms. While the debate runs hot as to the rights and wrongs of gun control, it exposed a regulatory issue not uncommon in truck world: a lack of reciprocity. Commercial vehicle regulations across the nation are mostly unified in things like fuel tax and registration fees. In recent years, there has been a new movement gaining steam in specialized transportation circles – pilot car certifications. The article this week will discuss this movement, how it’s applied across the states and high quality training being offered right here in Illinois!

Big Jim is a responsible person and gun owner (kind of a big fella too with long hair). He believes in broad rights to carry firearms concealed nationwide. He’s not a criminal and means nobody any harm. He only wants to protect his family and double-wide trailer in Kentucky when he finally moves there.

Jim has spent the time and money to obtain concealed carry licenses in several states from those which provide reciprocity in other states. For instance, he purchased a Florida concealed carry license which is honored in many other southeastern states.

By obtaining a few licenses, he can carry in forty-nine states, except Illinois. Go figure. In concealed carry world, Illinois is the donut-hole. The only state which does not honor other state’s concealed carry. No reciprocity.

What reciprocity means is this: even though each state may have its own concealed carry regulations which may not be 100% identical to other states, they understand the interstate difficulties of gun-toting Americans. Each state’s program might not hit all the same marks, but they are close enough to say, “hey, if you are good in FLA, you are good in our state too.” That’s reciprocity. Again, not Illinois.

So what does this have to do with pilot cars? Pilot cars are critically important as they escort the biggest and heaviest loads along the highways of the United States. Like all professions, there are those who are good at what they do, and then there are those who are scabs.

The problem is that any goof can throw some signs and a yellow light on their vehicle and voilà – they are a pilot car! Is this lawful? In many states, yes. Is this a good idea? No.

There’s more to being a pilot car operator than driving forward or aft of a permit load. The best pilot car services have high quality vehicles. They carry a high level of liability insurance. They provide higher education to their operators.

See the important word? That’s right. “high”. The best are not fly-by-night operations. They are professional services which dedicate their craft to providing safe passage of monster loads sharing the roads with unsuspecting and ignorant drivers. They raise the bar.

What’s raising the bar is pilot car certification. This is a training program designed to teach and train operators on best practices to perform their trade safely.

Because of the success of this movement, several states have adopted regulations requiring pilot car operators to be certified. The standard for training is Washington State. Their training program has been offered reciprocity in more than a dozen states, with even more states considering this model.

Specialized transportation already struggles with a disproportional number of harmonization issues when crossing state lines. Pilot cat certification is too important an issue to risk states creating isolated regulations which impedes commerce. What Illinois is to concealed carry, the State of New York is to pilot car certification. It’s damaging to the industry.

Adopting a pilot car certification is certainly an encouraged and welcome method to improve highway safety. The key for state’s is too honor quality programs like the Washington State model and provide reciprocity.

Guess what? The Washington State pilot car training is coming to Illinois in October 2017! Whether you are a pilot car service, or a carrier who has their own operators, the best training is being hosted locally.

Pit Row Pilot Car Services from Lincoln, Alabama is a nationally recognized pilot car service and member of the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association. Here are the dates/locations when Pit Row is offering their training in Illinois:

October 23rd  – Willowbrook, IL
October 25th – Springfield, IL
October 27th – Troy, IL

Reserve your seat now by calling (844) 474-8769. Be part of the solution.

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Challenge Yourself

On Wednesday, August 16th 2017, traffic safety professionals from across the state gathered in Tinley Park for the annual Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge awards Banquet. Scores of officers, government officials and members of traffic safety associations spent the morning celebrating the traffic safety successes of law enforcement agencies in 2016. Many of these law enforcement agencies are long-time members of the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association.

The Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge is a program coordinated by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee, which allows agencies in Illinois to compare traffic safety programs to other agencies of a similar size. It is more than a friendly competition, it is a way to constantly learn and improve on traffic safety practices throughout the state. The ITEA is an honorary sponsor of the Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge and has board members that serve as judges for the Challenge’s submissions.

In order to compete in the Challenge, law enforcement agencies must submit a lengthy publication highlighting their yearly efforts in traffic safety policy, officer training, awards and recognition, public education and enforcement. The submission must also include a section, which documents the overall effectiveness of their efforts, and how it has affected their patrol jurisdiction. In addition, the Challenge offers specialty awards for departments who excel specifically in impaired driving enforcement, occupant protection, distracted driving awareness, pedestrian and bicycle safety, railroad crossing safety, speed awareness and, of course, commercial vehicle enforcement.

For those in the trucking industry, don’t get the wrong idea. The Challenge isn’t about which department writes the most tickets. It is about having an effective overall traffic program, which deters traffic violations, educates the public and reduces crashes. While enforcement numbers do play a small role in the Challenge, the other aforementioned categories are more significantly weighted.

What this program does specifically for the trucking industry is encourage agencies to take a proactive approach in educating those who operate or own commercial vehicles. Many of the participating police departments actively seek out businesses within their jurisdiction to conduct traffic safety training related to commercial vehicles. The great part about this type of training is that it addresses concerns on a local level by the officers who enforce truck laws in that area. It also allows creates a point of contact for local drivers.

In addition to educating members of the trucking community, the Challenge also demands there are sound operating procedures and policies in place when it comes to enforcement of certain laws. The goal of this demand is to create consistency in the enforcement operations of police departments throughout Illinois. Anyone who has read any of the ITEA’s literature, or attended ITEA training, knows fairness and consistency are our most sacred values. These values are shared by the administrators of the Traffic Safety Challenge.

Finally, and most importantly, the Challenge requires participating agencies to produce results. The judges want to see how impactful a police department’s traffic safety program actually is. The impact of a program is primarily measured by the number of crashes which occurred throughout the year.  Judges want to see what is being done to preserve the life and property of those who reside or travel through a given jurisdiction.

If the appropriate amount of enforcement, education and engineering is utilized, the result should be a decrease in overall crashes and injuries. Overall, it reinforces the concept that all traffic enforcement is done for one specific reason – to keep people alive!

Here is the ITEA’s challenge to all of our law enforcement members: Take the time to create a traffic safety program which can run with the best of them. Any department of any size can have a successful program if they identify what traffic issues reside within their borders. Fair and consistent enforcement, coupled with educating the members of your community and training your officers is all it takes to be a champion.

Members of the trucking industry, don’t feel left out. You too can play a significant role in traffic safety. Reach out to local government and see if you can offer anything to help better educate the officers in your area. It could be as simple as inviting them to one of your company’s safety meetings. Give the officers a chance to teach you the fine points of the law. In return, offer to teach them something about your industry. You may be surprised at how eager police officers are to learn about your industry.

Traffic safety is not just the job of the police. We must all challenge ourselves to make the roads of Illinois safer to travel.

To learn more about the Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge, visit: www.iltrafficchallenge.org/

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Get Your Money’s Worth

Since 2009, the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association has made enormous strides in enhancing training for both truck enforcement officers and members of the trucking community. The goal has remained the same since ITEA’s inception and its mission will remain clear moving forward; bridge the gap between the trucking industry and those who regulate them.

Every year, the number of people whom the ITEA reaches greatly increases. Many of those new contacts know of the organization because of weekly blogs like this one. The goal of these blogs is to ensure that valuable information is disseminated to individuals who are impacted by commercial vehicle regulation and enforcement. For many, these weekly articles serve as a quick refresher on truck laws while for some, it is just leisurely reading material. What you may not know is how much more there is to the ITEA than these weekly briefs.

As the organization has grown, so have our responsibilities to our members. Those in law enforcement are, by far, the most active members.. From educational classes to the online forum, the ITEA allows officers from around the state to network and communicate about all things related to commercial vehicle enforcement. It is safe to say that police officers around Illinois are getting their money’s worth out of their membership to the ITEA.

But what about other members or those who are only on our weekly email list? Are they aware of what ITEA member benefits they may be missing out on?

While law enforcement members make up a majority of our membership, there are more than 100 members from the trucking industry! For those members, the ITEA has a plethora of services offered to drivers, owners and safety managers of trucking companies throughout Illinois.  The most popular service the ITEA provides to trucking members is traffic citation review.

If a member company or their driver receives a citation related to commercial vehicle regulation, the ITEA will assist in answering any of the confusing questions about the law violated. In many cases the violation is the result of a simple misunderstanding of the law or how it is enforced.

If this is the case, the ITEA will provide information and documentation needed to avoid future violations. With the assistance of regulatory agencies and other law enforcement professionals within the state, there is no question which cannot be answered.

For those who prefer to get the answers before they are cited for a violation, an ITEA membership gives access to all Standards of Practice (SOPs) and other resource documents. These are the very same items we use to train police officers in the signature Basic and Advanced Truck Enforcement Officer classes.

These documents are not only available online, but also on mobile devices for quick reference. These resource materials include flow charts for weight and size regulations, CDLs, safety tests and many other topics which are relevant to operating a commercial vehicle.

Members also have access to our online forum. This forum is open to all members throughout the state and allows instant communication with hundreds of other ITEA members in the industry. It also allows users to post questions which can be answered by ITEA leadership, many of whom are experienced law enforcement officers. The online forum is a great way to network with others, all while gaining a little more knowledge about the carrier industry.

ITEA trucking members also have access to training classes taught by the ITEA’s group of knowledgeable instructors. Many ITEA classes are geared to appeal to both those in law enforcement and those within the trucking industry.

The ITEA’s annual conference is open to all members and features professionals from Illinois’ regulatory agencies, law enforcement and trucking associations. This conference is a one-stop-shop for all commercial vehicle education needs.

Can’t make the annual conference? No problem, we will come to you! The ITEA offers educational seminars that are geared specifically to the needs of member trucking companies. Members can request to have an ITEA instructor come and speak at safety meetings and other seminars to help keep the company in compliance.

These classes are also a great way to allow drivers to understand things from a law enforcement perspective and even ask an experienced commercial vehicle enforcement officer any questions they may have. This is another example of how the ITEA is attempting to level the playing field and bridge the gap between law enforcement and the trucking industry.

Do any of those things appeal to you? If so, visit www.illinoistruckcops.com and click on “join us” to find out more about membership. For those who are members, ask yourself if you are using your membership to its full potential. If the answer is no, let the ITEA help you take the steps to get your money’s worth!

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A Tale of One City

New laws are created every day. Legislators create laws to keep people safe, enact taxes and make lives better. Sometimes laws which are created are not looked at again for many years, even though they may have become antiquated due to advances in technology, safety or increase in population. So how does a community learn when it’s time to update local ordinances to better serve a community?

Recently a municipality reached out to the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association to ask for help with their local ordinances pertaining to trucks. As with many laws in Illinois, their ordinances had never been updated to meet the needs of the trucking community or the people they serve. As a result, a ticket was issued which caused a stir on social media, bringing negative attention to the community.

If this was a “choose your own adventure” scenario, the decision could be either continue writing tickets the same way (the wrong way), or reach out to leaders in the law enforcement community to figure out how to do things better.

The organization in this fable chose the second path (the right way).  This police department contacted the ITEA for help in making their ordinances fit the community.

An effective ordinance in one town may not be so in the neighboring town. This does not mean there isn’t a solution, only that the solution may need to be achieved differently. By changing the ordinances to meet the needs for the surrounding area is better than using a blanket ordinance for all laws involving trucks.

A partnership was born and the ITEA and this police department will begin to work on revising their local ordinances to best fit the needs of the trucking industry operating in their town. By updating their local laws, the streets can be made safer for the community because the industry will have a clear understanding of how to make safe passage through the town.

These are the partnerships which make the Illinois Truck Enforcement Association an important piece of the puzzle for both police agencies and the trucking industry.  Together, the ITEA and industry can make Illinois a truck friendly state while still creating a safe environment for residents.

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