CHICAGO (CBS) — Unsuspecting truck drivers are receiving large fines at a bridge in the western suburbs. Some drivers said the signage is to blame.
Drivers approach the intersection at the West 21st Street bridge over Addison Creek only to find a warning sign about a 12-ton weight limit when it is too late to turn around.
In October, Zdravko Mihelcic drove right on 19th Avenue where the weight limit sign is facing the opposite direction, so he never saw it. The only other warning is on the bridge itself.
Mihelcica said he was caught by Broadview police and was fined more than $3,300.
Two other drivers were given fines as high as $14,000.
JB Hunt driver Basheer Alqudah said his was fined more than $4,400.
“I need to save money for my family,” Alquada said. “No warning, nothing.”
These drivers are not alone.
According to police records obtained by CBS 2, more than 80 drivers were pulled over for overweight violations on and around the bridge over the last three years. CBS 2 noted several discrepancies with state and federal guidelines, which require the signs to be within 500 feet, but no closer than 50 feet, away from the structure.
Mihelcic noted that they also have to be posted at least seven feet above the ground.
“I’m 6’2″ so this is 3 and a half feet from the sidewalk,” he said.
Broadview Police declined a request for an on-camera interview, but told CBS 2 off camera that this is the first they’ve heard about the signage complaints.
Police said they’re going to send officers out to investigate the allegations and will reach out to IDOT about any discrepancies.
Meanwhile, Mihelcic said he feels like the issue is less about safety and more about business.
“That’s a nice source of income for them, for the city, but what about us drivers?” he said. “We work for our bread, and we work for our families, and we are punished for what? For nothing.”