Truck Enforcement

Q: My street has “No Truck” signs on it. Why are trucks still driving on my street?

A: Per Village of Palatine ordinance, streets that are posted with “No Truck” signs prohibit trucks with a maximum gross weight over 10,000 lbs.  These signs only restrict trucks over 10,000 lbs from using your street as a cut-thru to another street.  Trucks may still use “No Truck” streets if they have a destination on that street, or if that street is the only way to gain access to their destination.  Regardless, they still have to be of legal weight & size as if the street was not restricted.

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Q: Do trucks really damage the roads?

A: A study done in the 1990’s determined one 80,000 lb. truck does as much damage to the road as 900 cars.  Heavy trucks stress the pavement, and the freeze-thaw cycles we experience in the Chicagoland area cause the roads to crack further and create potholes.

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Q: Why do trucks use engine brakes and aren’t they illegal?

A: Engine brakes, also known as “jake brakes” or “engine retarders” are an essential part of the braking system on heavy trucks.  Most heavy trucks use an air-brake system for primary braking power, but with heavy loads it is safer to have the engine slow down to help the air-brakes.  Local municipalities and counties are allowed by the Illinois Vehicle Code to enact ordinances regarding excessive noise from engine brakes.  Many newer trucks are equipped with mufflers to reduce the sound emitted.  The Village of Palatine does not have an ordinance specific to engine brake noise.

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Q: Are semi-truck drivers allowed to park their trucks on a residential street if they live there?

A: As long as their truck is of legal weight & size, they are allowed access for the purposes of loading, unloading, food, fuel, rest & repairs.  The driver still has to abide by all Village of Palatine parking ordinances such as overnight parking, fire lanes, blocking sidewalks, too close to driveways, etc.  There are also certain zoning restrictions in regards to garaging commercial vehicles in a residential district.  Please contact the Truck Enforcement Officer if you have a complaint about this.

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Q: What can I do to safely share the road with large trucks?

A: Please keep in mind that a typical 4-door sedan weighs about 3,000 lbs.  Trucks on our major arterial roads routinely operate at 80,000 lbs.  It takes a truck, in perfect conditions, considerably more time to stop than a car.  Please discipline yourself to follow the following safe driving tips around trucks:
  • Don’t try to beat the truck.  Speeding around the truck, changing lanes in front of it, and braking hard is a recipe for disaster.  Be patient, slow down and move in behind the truck if you need to turn.
  • Don’t tailgate a truck.  A truck will slow quickly even without using the brake.  Don’t wait for the trucks brake lights to come on to step on your brake.
  • Let the truck pass.  Don’t pull out from a driveway or parking lot thinking the truck can stop in time.
  • Don’t pass a truck on the right. Longer trucks may have to swing out to the left in order to complete a right turn, especially on local roads around shopping centers and industrial parks.  Passing on the right is illegal on any street, and can have terrible consequences if you don’t realize the truck is turning in front of you.
  • Assume all trucks are fully loadedDon’t drive based on your guess that a truck is operating on empty weight only.  Even empty trucks take longer to stop than your car.
  • Use your turn signal. The more information and advance notice you can give the truck driver of your impending turn, the better decision he can make to safely navigate his vehicle.

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Q: Are big trucks allowed to drive on residential roads?

A: The short answer is “yes”.  All trucks have to stay at or below maximum gross and axle weights for the road.  There are some local streets where truck traffic is prohibited.

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Q: If I have a complaint about a truck, what should I do?

A: In Palatine, you can call 9-1-1 anytime you need police service, even if it is not an emergency.  If your complaint about the truck requires immediate attention, please use the 9-1-1 option.  If your complaint revolves around an on-going problem, or you have general questions, please contact our Truck Enforcement Officer.

Officer Bryce Baker

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Q: If my vehcile exceeds 10,000 pounds, do I need an overweight permit on local "No Truck" routes?

A: You DO NOT need an overweight permit for any weight in excess of 10,000 pounds.  Overweight permits are only required for those vehicles with non-divisible loads which exceed the legal weight limits set forth in the Illinois Vehicle Code.

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Village Hall Regular Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
200 East Wood Street, Palatine, Illinois 60067 P. (847) 358-7500
Emergency:911 Non-Emergency: (847) 359-9000 Hours: 24 Hours
Police Headquarters 595 North Hicks Road, Palatine, Illinois 60067
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