Governor Quinn Signs Legislation to Simplify Truck Size and Weight Limits PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Laurel White   
Thursday, 28 July 2011 12:34

Law Eases Burden on Illinois Businesses by Creating Uniform Rules for Overweight Trucks; Helps Reduce Diesel Emissions

QUINCY – July 27, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to simplify regulation of trucks travelling in Illinois, easing the regulatory burden faced by Illinois businesses while helping ensure the safety of Illinois’ roads.

“One of the top priorities of my administration has been working with the business community to make Illinois an easier place to do business. By clarifying laws that impact transportation, we will help businesses to function more efficiently and still keep the public safe while traveling on Illinois roads” Governor Quinn said. “This law creates common sense rules, eliminates confusing language, and enhances productivity in the trucking industry and benefits the environment.”

Sponsored by Sen. John Sullivan (D-Rushville) and Rep. Daniel Beiser (D-Alton), Senate Bill 1644 clarifies and standardizes enforcement language for truck weight and size in the Illinois vehicle code.

The law will help reduce diesel emissions in Illinois by allowing maximum truck weight to increase by 400 pounds to 80,400 lbs if an auxiliary power unit (APU) is used. The units are used in heavy trucks to support auxiliary functions such as heating, air conditioning and lighting in sleeper berths. This allows the truck operator to turn off the vehicle’s main engine overnight and reduce the amount of diesel it burns. The provisions made for the APUs conform to federal laws and encourage more trucks to reduce use of diesel fuel.

Under the new law, whenever the gross weight of a vehicle with a registered gross weight of 77,000 lbs or less exceeds certain weight limits by 2,000 lbs or less, the owner or operator of the vehicle must remove the excess weight. In addition, the new law clarifies existing law to specify that clearance lamps are required only on commercial motor vehicles - not personal vehicles used for tasks such as hauling a lawn mower. The new law takes effect Jan. 1.    

The Governor also signed two other bills relating to trucking in Illinois. Senate Bill 1913, sponsored by Sen. Sullivan and Rep. Daniel Beiser (D-Alton), equalizes the speed limit for semi-trucks on four-lane highways outside the Chicagoland area. Beginning Jan. 1, trucks will be able to travel 65 mph – the same rate as other vehicles on the same roads.

House Bill 2836, sponsored by Rep. Jim Sacia (R-Freeport) and Sen. Sullivan, allows a form of dual semi-trailer hitching using a single pivot point. This law takes effect immediately.

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