May 31, 2017

SPRINGFIELD (May 31)—On a 116-0 vote total, SMART-TD’s SB 1681 cleared the Illinois House yesterday and will now go to the Governor for his signature.

If signed into law, SB 1681 would require rail carriers to verify that the contract carrier’s they hire to transport railroad crews have the minimum uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist coverage for their vehicles, which is now $500,000 per passenger.

“Clearing both chambers with unanimous vote totals clearly shows that this was a common sense approach to those contract carriers who may be in non-compliance with state statute,” said SMART-TD Illinois State Director Robert W. Guy. “The easiest way to confirm this required insurance was to amend the law to require the rail carrier’s themselves verify that the coverage was in place.”

“I want to thank all SMART-TD members who contacted their legislators,” Guy said. “I want to also thank our Designated Legal Counsel (DLC) partners who highlighted the issue of contract carrier non-compliance and provided some legal background that helped our argument to require rail carrier confirmation.”

“Unfortunately we’ve found that UM/UIM coverage is needed when our members are involved in contract carrier motor vehicle accidents,” Guy said. “And when that mandatory coverage is not in place it leaves our members at a great risk for personal loss if they have to miss work due to an injury suffered in the accident.”

“SB 1681 should help eliminate any non-compliance by contract carriers in regards to their financial responsibility,” Guy said. “And while the overwhelming majority of contract carrier trips are uneventful, there are those few that result in accidents, and when that happens we need sound state law to ensure that our members are protected, and I think SB 1681 helps in that effort.”

SB 1681 will now head to the Governor for his signature, look for updates and an effective date for the legislation when that happens.