Illinois bills cover certain truck fees, length limits

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | 3/7/2012

Truck issues are commonplace year after year at the Illinois statehouse. This year is not any different.

Two bills under consideration would allow truckers with Illinois base plates to keep more money in their pockets. Each bill pursues repealing collection of the commercial distribution fee for trucks in the state. The amount is a 14.35 percent surcharge of the annual registration fees.

For truck registrations of 80,000 pounds, truckers are required to chip in another $400 to cover the CDF. On top of the nearly $2,800 they already pay for base plates, truckers pay about $3,200 a year to tag their trucks in the state.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer has said the fee amounts to a tax on a tax. He has referred to the fee as “wholly inappropriate,” and has said it should be eliminated.

Another truck issue addressed at the statehouse would remove length limits for the distance between the kingpin and the center of the rear axle of semitrailers longer than 48 feet.

The limit is 45 feet, six inches on Class I and Class II highways. On Class III and other state highways, the limit is 42 feet, six inches.

The Senate Transportation Committee voted to advance the bill – SB2579 – to the Senate floor. House lawmakers are considering a bill – HB4446 – to do the same specifically for livestock haulers.

Spencer has said the current restrictions serve no purpose because equipment has improved through the years.

Awaiting consideration on the House floor is a separate bill – HB5101 – to outlaw truckers’ use of text messaging devices while at the wheel. Also included in the ban would be the use of hand-held phones.

Violations would be considered a “serious traffic violation.”

To view other legislative activities of interest for Illinois, click here.

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