SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachel Ventura passed bipartisan legislation that aims to alleviate truck collisions with underpasses or viaducts.

“Trucks collide with underpasses and viaducts far too often,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “Providing additional warning signs will help alleviate this problem.”

Senate Bill 1653 would create the low-clearance early warning device pilot program. It would require IDOT to establish a program to put early warning devices on or near bridges or viaducts. Early warning devices will include LiDAR, radar, visual signals, or additional signage. LiDAR, or "light detection and ranging,” is a method for determining ranges by targeting an object with a laser and measuring the time for the reflected light to return to the receiver. These various warning devices would be tested within the pilot program.

The pilot program would evaluate the effectiveness of an early warning device, design specifications, and estimated costs. Additionally, IDOT would consult with the University of Illinois on the pilot program to brainstorm any other potential ideas to solve the problem.

“This is a great example of taking a local issue and turning it into law to help all of Illinois,” said Ventura. “Truck collisions like this impact the 43rd district more often as we have the largest inland port and several low clearance viaducts and bridges. However, across the state we see this problem including narrow width viaducts. It’s time to address effective ways to solve the issue at hand.”

Senate Bill 1653 passed Senate Friday and moves to the House for further consideration.