May 12, 2017

SPRINGFIELD (May 12)—SMART-TD’s legislation to require railroads to verify minimum insurance levels of contract carrier vehicles has cleared the Illinois Senate and will now head to the Illinois House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 1681 reads “Each rail carrier that contracts with a contract carrier for the transportation of its employees in the course of their employment shall verify that the contract carrier has the minimum insurance coverage required under this subsection (c).”

Subsection (c) is a portion of the financial responsibility statute that contains the minimum $500,000 mandatory per passenger insurance coverage that contract carrier companies must obtain when transporting railroad workers.

“Over the years we’ve found that some contract carrier’s weren’t in full compliance with the financial responsibility portion of the vehicle code,” said SMART-TD Illinois State Director Robert W. Guy. “SB 1681 seeks to put the onus on the rail carriers to ensure that those proper mandatory minimum levels are in place for the companies they hire to haul railroad crews.”

“This requirement obviously make sense,” Guy said, “and the fact that SB 1681 passed the Senate unanimously reinforces our argument that this coverage is a necessity and must be in place when our members are being transported by these private companies.”

While it is encouraging that SB 1681 passed with such an impressive total we must continue to be ready to reach out to our State Representatives so they know how important this piece of legislation is.

“In the weeks ahead we’ll look forward to a hearing in committee and a full House vote on SB 1681,” Guy said. “In the meantime we’ll need to get our local members prepared to reach out to their Rep’s.”