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Illinois Trailer Laws and Regulations

Posted on February 21, 2023

Every state contains trailer laws that drivers must abide by, and Illinois is no exception. Failing to follow the Illinois trailer laws can harm you and other drivers. Find out what trailer laws you must know and how our legal team can help you when facing a trailer law violation. Let Taxman, Pollock, Murray, & Bekkerman, LLC, help you with the trailer laws of Illinois.

The Brake Laws of Illinois

One of the most important laws you must know is the brake law. Your trailer must have specific brakes if it weighs over a certain limit. Trailers over 3,000 pounds are required to obtain brakes that can automatically apply if the trailer disconnects.

Trailers that weigh between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds must have brakes on one wheel on each side. Brakes are required for all wheels if the trailer weighs 5,000 pounds and over.

Hitching Laws of Illinois

You also want to follow the mandatory hitching laws. When hitching your trailer, you’ll be required to use a coupling device known as a drawbar and safety chains. In addition to these hitching devices, you must purchase special license plates for your trailer. The cost for these plates ranges from $162-200. After this one-time fee, you’ll be required to pay an annual renewal fee for your license plates.

Signal Devices

Another requirement is the use of an electric turn signal device. This device will indicate which direction you plan to execute when driving.

For example, when you turn left, a flashing red light will inform the other drivers around you.

Trailers that weigh 3,000 pounds or less should have two red reflectors on the rear. These reflectors should be placed in the lower left and right corners. It’s also important that they remain visible at night.

Dimension Requirements for Trailers

You are also required to follow specific dimensions when selecting a trailer. The height requirement for trailers must be 13 feet and 6 inches. The total length of the trailer cannot exceed 42 feet, including bumpers. Combined with your car, the total length should equal 60 feet.

Other Trailer Laws

Another trailer law you must follow includes certain mirror laws. The mirrors that you use must be able to provide a view of 200 feet to the rear. In terms of speeding, you are not required to follow a slower speeding limit. You have required the posted speeding limit on the roadway. When traveling with other passengers, the passengers cannot occupy the trailer while it is being towed on a public highway.

Trailer Law Violations

Illinois law allows police officers to stop drivers who they believe are violating trailer law violations. If the police officer believes the weight of the trailer is unlawful, they can subject the driver to a weighing. The officer can even require you to drive the trailer to the nearest scale.

Any driver who fails to stop and submit their trailer to a weighing can be fined anywhere from $500 to $2,000. The weight of the trailer will determine the fine. If your trailer is 3,000 pounds or less, you may pay a fine of $200 or less. If your trailer weighs 5,000 pounds or less, the fine can range from $1,000 or less.

How a Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help Me

You want to explore your legal options when facing a trailer law violation. At Taxman, Pollock, Murray, & Bekkerman, LLC, our personal injury attorneys can help you learn more about your legal options. We can work with law enforcement agencies to achieve your situation’s best possible outcome. Contact us online to schedule your initial consultation.