ILLINOIS STATE POLICE STEP UP PATROLS ON ROADS ALONG THE ILLINOIS TOLLWAY IN RESPONSE TO LOCAL CONCERNS ABOUT INCREASED TRUCK TRAFFIC
SPRINGFIELD, IL - The Illinois State Police (ISP) today announced a plan to beef up patrols on Route 41 in Lake County. Under the direction of Governor Rod Blagojevich, the Illinois State Police will implement changes in personnel and procedures to address concerns raised by Lake County residents about possible increased traffic levels as trucks look for local routes to avoid toll roads.
"Our new plan for the Illinois Tollway system will mean shorter travel times and less congestion in the long run," said Governor Blagojevich, "But as major changes to the Tollway get underway, we've heard from local residents who are concerned about the short-term impact on local traffic flow - especially from commercial trucks. We want to make sure safety on local roads isn't compromised during this transition - and we're pleased to work with State Senator Susan Garrett to ensure that's the case."
The proposed changes include:
"We added more truck weight scales in January, and now we're increasing patrols on local roads to make sure trucks are respecting state and local traffic laws," said Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent.
- An increase in ISP patrol personnel,
- Utilization of message boards to update and alert motorists of changing conditions and possible hazards in the flow of traffic,
- Raising the awareness level of *999 service available to cell phone users to report erratic drivers, crashes, or drivers in need of emergency assistance.
Troopers assigned as Commercial Enforcement Officers will bolster enforcement efforts by conducting special inspection details and using portable scales on Route 41.
State Senator Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest) recently formed a Transportation Task Force to collect further data on truck traffic along U.S. Route 41 since truck tolls increased on January 1, 2005. Members of the Task Force include the Illinois State Police, Illinois Tollway, and local citizens with transportation expertise.
"Adding more State Police will reinforce our commitment to safety, and send a clear message to our communities that our local roads will receive the protection they need," Garrett said.