Bill to expand truck zones in Illinois advances

| Thursday, April 28, 2005

A measure that would change restrictions on how far trucks may travel off highways in Illinois has been expanded, approved by a committee and is headed to the full Senate for approval.

The bill, SB218, was introduced by Sen. John Sullivan, D-Quincy. It is designed to make it easier for truckers in Illinois to travel off main routes to deliver their loads, fuel up or get rest.

Current state law allows certain trucks to travel up to 5 highway miles off any state-designated highway to load or unload. In addition, those same trucks can travel off any state-designated highway and travel no more than 5 miles on “any State, county or township highway” to get fuel, food, repairs or rest.

SB218 would allow those truckers to travel off any highway – not just those designated by the state – for whatever distance is necessary to: load or unload, get mail, fuel, repairs or obtain needed rest.

The law would simply require that the trucker take the “shortest practical” route to his or her destination.

Recent amendments have more specifically spelled out the distance that certain trucks may travel off main routes, and allows some trucks, such as household goods carriers, unlimited access to any place they need to load or unload.

The bill was unanimously approved by the Senate Transportation Committee, and was sent to the full Senate in early April.

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