Wait for it… Wait for it…
The world is bent on instant gratification. The internet has become such an effective medium of communication it causes anxiety when people cannot receive information immediately. Shame on impatient people? Probably a fair assumption, but yesterday is the standard for today’s notification. There are some things, however, which everyone must wait on. For those readers hailing from Illinois, it is legislation. While you wait for the new cat video on YouTube to load, read on about new bills affecting the trucking industry sitting on Governor Rauner’s desk, waiting for a signature.
A few weeks ago, this blog discussed the new length bill which passed through both houses of the General Assembly. HB0683 would increase the maximum overall length of semi-tractor trailer combinations on local roads from 55’ to 65’. You can read more about it HERE. This bill has now been sent to the Governor and is awaiting his signature or veto.
Last year, the ITEA reported on a bill limiting the maximum weights of fire trucks on all highways in Illinois. To say the scathing article remained quiet would be a massive understatement. The ITEA received an astonishing number of phone calls from disbelieving firefighters, fire associations and municipal officials. The disbelief of how the Federal FAST Act mandates were improperly codified in Illinois law left everyone catching flies while their mouths were left gaping open.
In response, HB2492 was drafted to repair the damage. Originally the replacement bill struck the new weight limits altogether from all Illinois roads. This too was incorrect. An amendment to the bill was added to correctly abide by the FAST Act mandate and impose the weight restriction on federal highways only. The reader may believe this is a bad idea too, but it is what the feds have regulated. Call your congressional representative!
Everyone sees all the numbers on the side of semi-truck when it passes by. Every large truck operating commercially needs an authority. For those carriers who never leave the State of Illinois, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) regulates. For those operating interstate, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) regulates.
For many years, the ICC has required interstate carriers to display their intrastate ICC number on the side of the truck in addition to their USDOT number. While local police in Illinois have no authority over the enforcement of this law, the ICC police do. This bill, if signed by the governor, would allow interstate carriers to only display their USDOT number.
People from the northeast portion of Illinois seem to forget the bulk of Illinois is rural with an economy based heavily on agriculture. From time to time, the Governor will declare an emergency harvest. This is a big deal to farmers.
HB2580, if signed, would allow the Illinois Department of Transportation and local authorities to issue overweight permits for divisible loads, up to a certain percentage of weight, for combinations of vehicles hauling particular agriculture commodities during the declaration. This bill would also exempt them from the overweight on registration language in Chapter 3 of the Illinois Vehicle Code.
Most, but not all trucks are required to display safety inspection stickers. The ITEA maintains a flow chart to help make this difficult law easier to understand, but it may very well become a little more complicated if the Governor signs HB3172. But it will be big win for the trucking industry!
In a continuing trend to sync State and Federal laws, this bill harmonizes the frequency of intrastate and interstate semi-tractors and semi-trailers to obtain safety inspections. Currently, semi-tractors and trailers operating intrastate-only are required to be inspected by an IDOT safety lane facility twice per year. Identical trucks and trailers with interstate authority are only required to have an annual periodic inspection.
Under HB3172, intrastate carriers operating semi-tractors and trailers will only have to visit IDOT once per year.
While none of these laws are signed and sealed yet, there is no reason to believe Governor Rauner will veto. Then again, this is Illinois, a state of the verge of financial collapse.