Illinois bill would limit truck permit fees

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Monday, March 26, 2012

An Illinois bill is intended to rein in certain truck fees charged by local governments.

Many truck drivers traveling south of Joliet off Interstate 55 are all too familiar with one community’s exorbitant fees to drive less than two miles of road to access intermodal facilities. The village of Elwood requires truck drivers to pay $700 for a monthly overweight permit – even for a single trip.

In contrast, Land Line previously reported that neighboring Joliet requires no permit fee. The state of Illinois charges $1,000, which covers an entire year of overweight permits.

Sen. John Sullivan, D-Rushville, is the sponsor of a bill to require local jurisdictions to adopt the state permit schedule. Local governments would be prohibited from charging truck drivers excessive fees to access local roads, including locales with home rule powers.

Supporters say the state needs to address regulatory variances that exist in communities throughout the state.

Critics say that a blanket rule limiting fees is harmful to local governments. They point out that it is difficult to pay for repairs to smaller streets that suffer damage from large trucks.

The bill – SB3516 – is in the Senate Transportation Committee. It must advance from committee by Friday, March 30.

A separate bill on the move would 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.”

House lawmakers voted unanimously to advance the bill – HB5101 – to the Senate for further consideration.

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

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