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Stay Off Fresh Paint

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Stay Off Fresh Paint

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
September 2, 2007

The other day I was driving in Crystal Lake and following an IDOT crew that was repainting lane lines on U.S. 14. The crew was doing a great job, working in the inside through lane.

The problem was with rude drivers who thought they were so special that they could cruise up the blocked lane until they were right behind the last IDOT truck and then drive on top of the freshly-painted lane lines to change lanes and pass on the right.

A few of the drivers were thoughtful enough to wait for an intersection and change lanes (albeit, against state law) in the intersection where no lines were painted. But some of the others (gee, why were the vehicles all huge SUVs and large pick-up trucks?) just drove across the lines and tracked white paint into the right-hand lane.

There must be a law that prohibits drivers from doing this. Well, there shouldn’t even have to be such a law. It takes only a minute or so for the paint to dry.

One suggestion to IDOT is to have the last truck in line be the one with the sign on the tailgate reading “STAY OFF FRESH PAINT.” On that day, that truck was the second truck in line, and its sign was blocked by the third IDOT truck in line.

Another solution would be for the second IDOT truck, from which red traffic cones were being placed to prevent drivers from driving on the new lane lines, to follow at a slightly greater distance, but not enough for a car to squeeze in. And for the third truck to follow a little farther back.

The whole idea is to keep drivers off the freshly-painted lane lines until they quickly dry.

Maybe a “Trooper in a Truck” is needed with the paint crews. He could target the violators and radio ahead, when patrol officers would make the stop and write the tickets.

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