McCann files legislation to help improve dangerous roads
SPRINGFIELD – Local road authorities may soon be able to receive financial assistance to stripe dangerous roadways, due to legislation filed by State Sen. Sam McCann (R-Plainview).
“Right now, complicated financial rules are blocking road authorities from being able to use state and federal project funds to improve safety by striping roads,” said Sen. McCann. “This allows state and local governments, when they agree on what are clearly dangerous roads, to be able to work together to make those roads safer.”
Currently law restricts what type of funding can be used for different road projects. Road striping projects are not eligible to be paid for by state project dollars nor federal pass-through dollars, but can only be funded by proceeds from motor fuel taxes. Due to increased efficiency and state usage of much of the gas tax revenue, the amount that goes to counties has been drastically reduced. This leads many counties and road authorities to be unable to pay to paint stripes on roads to divide lanes of traffic and mark the edges of the roadway.
Senate Bill 2267 would allow state and certain federal funds to be used for road striping if the road authority and the Illinois Department of Transportation agree that centerline and/or shoulder striping are necessary for the safety of drivers on the roadway.
The legislation was inspired by community feedback following the death of Lynn Jason Turner in a car accident near White Hall. The accident occurred when Tyler’s vehicle crossed into the opposite lane on an unstriped road in heavy fog.
“Fog, rain, and other weather can make it hard to see exactly where the edges of the roadway and lanes actually are. The presence of reflective striping helps people see where the lanes and road are, which is crucial to preventing tragedies,” said Sen. McCann. “The government’s first duty is to keep the public safe. This cuts red tape and restrictive rules to do just that.”