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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Truckers Say Ill. Cops Cross Line
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May, 2015  The Midwest Truckers Association has filed a complaint with the Illinois Department of Transportation accusing police of over ticketing truck drivers in Will County. The association says local police are taking advantage of confusing signage to collect revenue through overweight tickets. As much as $2.5 million has been collected from truckers ticketed on a section of Manhattan-Monee Road from U.S. Route 52 East to U.S. 45, says the group. “County police have figured out if they just sit at the road, they can make some money,” wrote MTA Associate Director Matt Wells in a letter to the DOT. One truck driver was fined more than $20,000 last fall, an amount that could put him out of business, according to his lawyer. The drivers do not claim the ticketed trucks are not in fact overweight for the road but that the signage there is misleading and that law enforcement is taking advantage of the situation. Turning onto U.S. 45, the first sign a driver sees says the road has a 15-ton weight limit; however, another sign in the same line of vision labels the road as a truck route. The 15-ton limit actually refers to a culvert west of U.S. 45, but the trucks have to pass over it on their route. “Who in the world would [limit] a structure to 15 tons on a road that has a sign that says truck route,” asked Wells. “Everyone has logically assumed that the culvert five miles ahead is just past [the highway] because the sign says it’s a truck route and they can access U.S. 45 this way.” Local police defend the signage. The Illinois DOT has issued an e-mail statement saying it is looking into the matter.

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