Effective July 1, 2000, owners of intermodal equipment in Illinois will be responsible for the roadworthiness of that equipment.
The new law prohibits the interchange of equipment that doesn't comply with federal regulations, makes owners responsible for upkeep, and requires them to reimburse truckers for any fines, penalties, or repair costs incurred because of faulty equipment.
Currently most states, as well as the federal government, hold truckers responsible for equipment that doesn't meet safety regulations, but truckers have long complained that drivers are not given adequate time or facilities to do adequate safety inspections. Some have even reported pressure from shippers to move with noncomplying equipment rather than delay delivery of a load.
Louisiana and South Carolina have laws similar to Illinois. In February, the Federal Highway Administration asked for public comment on the issue. The comment period closed April 19. Proposed changes, if any, will likely come from the new Office of Motor Carrier Safety.