Illinois Department of Transportation, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 8, 2006


CONTACT:
Mike Claffey (IDOT) 312-814-3957
Marisa Kollias (IDOT) 312-814-4693
Lincoln Hampton (ISP) 312-814-8367
Rick Hector (ISP) 217-524-3500
Ralph Timmins (ISP)   618/346-3524



IDOT, ISP Step Up Commercial Vehicle Enforcement and Inspections to Make Illinois Roads Safer this Summer

IDOT devotes $560,000 to pay for more police patrols  And commercial motor vehicle inspections

SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police (ISP) are boosting their efforts to increase safety on the roadways during the busy summer-driving season by increasing enforcement and inspection activities aimed at semi-trucks and other commercial motor vehicles.

“The vast majority of truckers are responsible drivers who observe the rules of the road, but the tragic fact is we have seen an increase in truck-related fatalities last year and in first part of this year,” said IDOT Secretary Timothy W. Martin. “By targeting increased resources at commercial vehicles, we intend to make commercial drivers aware that Illinois is serious about safety. We want truckers to help us reverse this alarming trend.”

Semi-truck-related fatalities were up 20 percent in 2005 to 152 from 127 in 2004. For the first quarter of the year, semi-related fatalities were up sharply, from 28 last year to 43 this year.

In response, IDOT has channeled more than half a million dollars to increased enforcement and inspection activities.

IDOT has devoted $460,000 from the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program to the enforcement crackdown from now through September. These funds will pay for increased enforcement activities in all 21 ISP Districts. The effort will focus on speeding trucks and other commercial motor vehicle moving violations that contribute to crashes.

"The vast majority of truck drivers are professionals who carefully maintain their equipment and share the road safely with other motorists," said ISP Director Larry Trent. "Law enforcement's concern is with the reckless drivers who disregard safety and put others in danger while driving an 80,000 pound vehicle. Increased inspections will help to remove unsafe vehicles from our roadways and elevated enforcement action will ensure that the drivers are obeying the rules of the road. This initiative will make the roadways safer for all drivers and send a message that we're serious about safety."

In addition, IDOT is dedicating $100,000 to cover overtime costs for 2,000 hours of commercial motor vehicle inspections. Recently, IDOT reported that in 305 hours of overtime, commercial motor vehicle inspectors checked 314 trucks and took 42 out of service for safety violations.

For more information about commercial motor vehicle regulations in Illinois, go to www.dot.state.il.us.

 

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