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According to the 2010 census, Rockford has a total area of 61.949 square miles (160.45 km 2 ), of which 61.08 square miles (158.20 km 2 ) (or 98.6%) is land and 0.869 square miles (2.25 km 2 ) (or 1.4%) is water. Neighboring communities that border Rockford, and are considered an integral part of the Rockford metro area, are the cities of Loves Park , Machesney Park , Belvidere , and the villages of Winnebago , Roscoe , Rockton , Poplar Grove , New Milford , and Cherry Valley . The Rock River is the traditional center of the Rockford area and is its most recognizable natural feature. Also of note, South Beloit, Illinois and Beloit, Wisconsin are part of this continuous urban area that stretches for approximately 30 miles along the Rock River from the Chicago Rockford International Airport north to the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport .
Did You Know

QuestionIn 1976, the number one hit on the Billboard chart was "Convoy," a novelty song by C.W. McCall about a convoy of truck drivers evading speed traps and toll booths across America. The song inspired the 1978 action film Convoy directed by Sam Peckinpah. After the film's release, thousands of independent truck drivers went on strike and participated in violent protests during the 1979 energy crisis (although similar strikes had occurred during the 1973 energy crisis).

Question“The association of truckers with cowboys and related myths was perhaps most obvious during the urban-cowboy craze of the late 1970s, a period that saw middle-class urbanites wearing cowboy clothing and patronizing simulated cowboy nightclubs. During this time, at least four truck driver movies appeared, CB radio became popular, and truck drivers were prominently featured in all forms of popular media.” — Lawrence J. Ouellet

QuestionWithin the world of transportation, bypass routes are often very controversial.This ismostlydue to the fact that theyrequirethe building of a road carrying heavy traffic where no road existed before.This has created conflict among society thus creating a divergence between those in support of bypasses and those whoare opposed. Supporters believe they reduce congestion in built up areas. Those in opposition do not believe in developing (often rural) undeveloped land.In addition, the cities thatare bypassedmay also oppose such a project as reduced traffic may, in turn, reduce and damage business.

QuestionAs of January 1, 2000, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)was establishedas its own separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation. This came about under the "Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999".The FMCSAis basedin Washington, D.C., employing more than 1,000 people throughout all 50 States, including in the District of Columbia.Their staff dedicates themselves to the improvement of safety among commercial motor vehicles (CMV) and to saving lives.

QuestionDOT officers of each state are generally in charge of the enforcement of the Hours of Service (HOS). These are sometimes checked when CMVs pass through weigh stations. Drivers found to be in violation of the HOS canbe forcedto stop driving for a certain period of time. This, in turn, maynegativelyaffect the motor carrier's safety rating. Requests to change the HOS are a source of debate. Unfortunately, many surveysindicate driversroutinelyget away with violating the HOS.Such facts have started yet another debate on whether motor carriers shouldbe requiredto us EOBRs in their vehicles.Relying on paper-based log books does not always seem to enforce the HOS law put in place for the safety of everyone.

QuestionThe Federal-Aid Highway Amendments of 1974 established a federalmaximum gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds (36,000 kg).It also introduced a sliding scale of truck weight-to-length ratios based on the bridge formula. Although, they did not establish a federalminimumweight limit.By failing to establish a federal regulation, six contiguous in the Mississippi Valley rebelled.Becoming known as the "barrier state", they refused to increase their Interstate weight limits to 80,000 pounds.Due to this, the trucking industry faced a barrier to efficient cross-country interstate commerce.