The State Police of District 16 in Illinois released earlier this week a summary of their September 2011 monthly statistics for law enforcement activity. In an article published by Journal Standard.com, it was reported that District 16, which serves Boone, Winnebago, Stephenson, and Jo Daviess counties, handled over 1,433 incidents during the month of September. Of those 1,433 incidents, over 1,355 involved troopers on field patrol. Overall, Illinois State Troopers issued 366 citations for drivers violating speed laws, 97 seat belt violations, as well as, 22 arrests made for driving under the influence of alcohol. Additionally, troopers inspected over 103 Illinois semi trucks to determine if federal compliance standards were being met in accordance with regulations mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. After a thorough investigation of large commercial vehicles, 31 were placed out of service due to driver or vehicle violations.
In 2010, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance released updated Out-of-Service Criteria for placing commercial vehicles out-of-service during roadside vehicle inspections. Serious violations are defined as those that render a commercial vehicle or commercial vehicle driver an immediate threat to the general public. A vehicle or driver will be placed out of service until the issues are remedied or repaired. The following contains several criteria which may render a vehicle or driver out-of-service:
Defective Breaks: a vehicle will be placed out of service if 20% or more of its service breaks has one of the following defects – Any steering axle brake defect – Won’t actuate effectively or friction material won’t contact drum/rotor.
– Audible air leak at chamber.
– Missing brake on any axle required to have brakes.
– Brake malfunction causing smoke or fire to emit from wheel end, not including overheating due to severe brake use.
– Dripping leak anywhere, including reefer/heater fuel system.
– Fuel tank loose due to broken or missing bolts and/or brackets.
Securement of Cargo
– Cargo that is likely to roll is not restrained by chocks, wedges, cradle or other equivalent means – Articles secured by transverse tiedowns are not in direct contact with one another and are not prevented from shifting while in transit.
Our Chicago truck accident lawyers commend the efforts of our state police department to help make our roadways a safer place to travel. Strict commercial vehicle regulations are enacted to help prevent the thousands of semi truck accidents that occur each year. It is important to not only have these regulations put in place, but to have law enforcement rigorously enforce these rules and regulations. When commercial vehicle violations are identified, it helps put the focus back on maintaining the utmost vehicle safety, as well as, saving lives.