For some, heavy trucks passing over bridges across this country means faster bridge deterioration since all that weight erodes the bridge structure. For those representing victims of fatal big rig crashes, heavy weights on trucks mean riskier roadways – the standard sedan is no match for a loaded 18 wheeler in an accident.
With passage of Illinois legislation effective January 1, 2010, all 50 states have now adopted the Federal Bridge Formula, which means that Illinois’ old 73,280 pound limit increases to the national standard of 80,000-pound gross weight limit for commercial vehicles (big rigs, 18 wheelers, tractor trailers, etc.) as the default weight limit for almost every roadway that these trucks travel (federal, state, local, urban, rural).
What happens when trucks are in violation of the law? If they get caught, they get fined.
With the new 2010 law, Illinois also upped the fines for commercial vehicles that exceed the weight limit. Now, the fee schedule for overweight fines is:
• Up to and including 2,000 pounds overweight: $100
• 2,001 through 2,500 pounds overweight: $270
• 2,501 through 3,000 pounds overweight: $330
• 3,001 through 3,500 pounds overweight: $520
• 3,501 through 4,000 pounds overweight: $600
• 4,001 through 4,500 pounds overweight: $850
• 4,501 through 5,000 pounds overweight: $950
• 5,001 or more pounds: $1,500 for the first 500 pounds overweight and $150 for each additional increment of 500 pounds overweight or fraction thereof.
That’s right: Illinois law now lets heavier trucks drive its roadways, and if the truckers are pulled over and found to be violating the law, then they have to pay a few hundred dollars in fines.