March 10, 2005

SPRINGFIELD (March 10)—A UTU-sponsored bill to protect rail employees against uninsured motorists while riding in privately operated crew vans passed the Illinois House today and was sent on to the Senate Transportation Committee to be introduced in the Upper Chamber.

The measure, known as H.B. 2510, passed by a vote of 86-25 under sponsorship of Transportation Committee Chairman Jay Hoffman (D-Collinsville).

“The UTU’s 2005 Illinois legislative drive is on track and on time,” said Illinois Legislative Director Joseph C. Szabo. “H.B. 2510 cleared the House only 10 days after being introduced, and H.B. 2449, which will prevent railroad managers from interfering with employees’ medical treatment, is chugging along behind it. It won Committee approval three days ago and will be taken up by the House shortly.”

H.B. 2510 would amend the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code to require van contractors shuttling railroad employees on public streets and highways to carry at least $250,000 in uninsured and underinsured-motorist coverage on each occupant of vans carrying fewer than 15 passengers.

“H.B. 2510 closes the last gap in the safety protection provided to train-crew members riding in contract vans,” Szabo said. “As a result of the Illinois Legislative Board’s earlier work, the vans and the drivers became subject to state inspection. Now the owners of the vans will be subject to a minimum threshold of insurance coverage on each occupant.”

Szabo said H.B. 2510 is expected to be introduced into the Senate by Transportation Committee Chairman Tony Munoz (D-Chicago), where it must pass through Committee before moving to the floor.

Szabo urged UTU members to return frequently to the web page of the UTU Illinois Legislative Board at to monitor the progress of both bills.