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Police stop ‘slow roll’ truck protest from exiting Dan Ryan downtown

Westbound lanes on Interstate 80 were closed Dec. 26, 2019, after a rollover crash involving a semitrailer carrying phosphoric acid near New Lenox.
Sun-Times file photo

Authorities prevented a “slow roll” protest by truck drivers from exiting the Dan Ryan Expressway downtown Friday morning.

A group of truckers started driving slowly on Interstate 57 about 10 a.m. from Monee before getting onto the Dan Ryan Expressway, according to Illinois State Police Sgt. Delila Garcia.

When the trucks reached the Ohio Street exit, state and Chicago police prevented them from driving onto the city’s streets, state police said. The trucks continued onto the Kennedy Expressway before heading south on the Tri-State Tollway.

The protest ended about 1 p.m. with the trucks arriving at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offices at 4747 Lincoln Mall Drive in south suburban Matteson, Garcia said.

At least 15 truck drivers initially planned to drive to downtown Chicago to pass Trump Tower, and then back again, to bring attention to regulations in their industry, according to Daniel Dorris, an organizer of the group Black Smoke Matters.

“Our grievances are falling on deaf ears. We’re not getting results,” Dorris said.

The truckers planned to drive single-file in the right lane at the minimum posted speed limit, Dorris said.

State police warned the group that backups could cause traffic crashes and serious harm to other drivers. Police said that participating truckers could be held liable for resulting traffic crashes.

There were no crashes reported or citations issued as a result of the protest, according to Garcia.