The City of Knox continues to crack down on truckers who ignore the city’s truck routes. Now, Mayor Dennis Estok is looking to raise the penalties.
He told the city council Tuesday that the city’s enforcement efforts are working, but the $50 fines currently imposed on violators are simply too low, “What we’re proposing is to raise it to $150, and the reason why is because for $50, you’re probably going to have these truck drivers just take the chance that they’re going to sneak through because it’s not a stiff enough penalty and we’ve already had that.”
Council members generally agreed to the increase, but Tim Manns felt that before it happens, the city has to make sure all truck drivers are aware of where they’re supposed to go, “I saw the sign there on Culver Road and [U.S.] 35. It’s really not a big sign. And before that, coming into town, there’s no sign that says, ‘Truck route ahead,’ or anything like that. I believe we need to put some more signs up, especially if we’re going to stiffen the fine for this, at least specify where the truck route is.”
Mayor Estok pointed out that he’s contacted local industries and told them of the change, so most drivers should know where to go. However, Estok also said he’s heard from truck drivers who had trouble finding the city’s truck routes.
There was also some discussion Tuesday about whether the city should go even higher with the fines, but Manns suggested keeping the proposal at $150, “I think $150 is plenty, and I think that should be posted on those said signs, and then if they do it, then $150.”
The fine increase will be implemented as an amendment to the city’s truck route ordinance. It’s expected to be presented at the next city council meeting.
The main goal of the city’s truck routes is to keep trucks heading to the Industrial Park off Culver Road west of U.S. 35 and away from school zones. Currently, trucks entering the city from the south or east are expected to head north through town on U.S. 35, west on State Road 8, and then back south on Klockner Drive. Estok said long-range plans include an eventual truck entrance from the south.