By Joe Rajkovacz
OOIDA Regulatory Affairs Specialist
OOIDA, its Illinois members and other truckers in the state have spent years trying to get rid of the state’s split-speed limit for trucks. Those efforts were repeatedly stymied by a corrupt former governor who vetoed legislation that would have eliminated split-speed limits. After all our collective efforts, who would have thought all it took was getting a governor impeached?
Ah, but that is the story of Illinois politics. Imprisoning former elected officials for various “pay to play” schemes is as common there as are drivers being illegally forced to pay for unloading someone else’s freight.
Fortunately for truckers, disgraced former Gov. Blagojevich was replaced by Gov. Pat Quinn who has wisely allowed the despised split-speed limit to fade away.
I joined the Association 23 years ago because I recognized that as much as I “pitched a bitch” on the CB about many issues, flapping my gums over the radio wasn’t going to change anything. As time passes, things do seem to stay the same: Drivers still gripe about many inequities they face – and rightly so! But complaining to your fellow drivers over the radio still won’t change a thing; change can only happen if you take a stand and get involved in the process.
The victory in Illinois did not happen by chance. Between the efforts of OOIDA members and others on the ground in Illinois – such as the Mid-West Truckers Association – all truckers have scored a victory that will allow them to ride with the flow of traffic and improve highway safety by reducing accidents caused by unsafe interactions between vehicles operating at significantly different speeds.
Like many Americans, truckers have a dim view of the value of getting involved politically. They perceive that involvement as a waste of their time since they fear “it won’t make a difference.”
Saying “adios” to the Illinois split speed-limit ought to be proof enough that by working together we can make a difference.