Last year, a city started a program to aggressively enforce their strict truck regulations. They assigned three traffic officers to focus on truck enforcement alone. In the 14 months that followed, those officers issued citations totaling over $2.2 million. Now, the city is so pleased with the results that they’re expanding the program and looking to hire new officers.
Joliet, Illinois is about 25 miles southwest of Chicago and a major part of the Chicago Metropolitan area. The city has strict regulations targeted at truckers. Designated truck routes, engine brake regulations, size and weight restrictions, and a strict “road blockage” ordinance are just a few.
They began their truck enforcement program in August of 2017. The three officers worked only during the daytime on weekdays. The citations they hand out can often come with hefty fines. Even just a road blockage citation carries a $500 fine. According to the Joliet Police, operating a vehicle over the maximum weight for a non-truck road can lead to a fine of $500 or “upwards of $30,000.00+”.
“We count on the fact that these drivers are in communication with one another and that word has gotten out that Joliet takes road blockages, due to poor planning, very seriously,” said traffic Sgt. Phil Stice. “Truck drivers in Joliet are learning quickly to plan their route ahead of time or else there will be consequences.”
Those consequences have taken the form of citations which carried total fines of $2.2 million in the past 14 months.
Joliet authorities are so pleased with the results of the program that they’ve announced that enforcement will be expanded. Effective immediately, enforcement officers will be issuing citations on evenings and weekends as well. To cover the additional work, Joliet plans to hire additional truck enforcement officers for the traffic unit.
“Joliet fully recognizes the increase in semi-traffic over the last several years and that it is unlikely to diminish in the near future,” said Mayor Bob O’Dekirk. “Therefore, we see the merit in increased patrol efforts combined with effective ordinances and permitting measures. With these safeguards in place, Joliet can maintain its status as a hub for commerce and industry without compromising its resident’s safety and quality of life.”
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