Can the city require GPS tracking on your food truck?

Posted on 11/13/2019 by Tammie Nolte, Big Fat Writer

GPS tracking has been a permit requirement for Chicago food trucks since 2012. The city can track and locate to ensure food trucks are not within 200 feet of restaurants. Who is fighting with and for the food trucks in Chicago? Get the backstory, trucks involved and case updates.

  • Game of Food Trucks

    In October 2019, Illinois Supreme Court ruled GPS tracking does not constitute a search. The Institute of Justice (IJ) is appealing this case and has been fighting the fight for food trucks in all American cities.

  • The GPS Rules for Chicago Food Trucks

    Chicago bans food trucks from operating within 200 feet of a restaurant. Chicago food trucks must install GPS devices that transmit a truck’s location to the city every five minutes. The tracking systems help city officials locate food truck and determine if trucks are at least 200 feet of restaurants.

    “If the government forces you to install a GPS device and can track your whereabouts, that is a search. But the Illinois Supreme Court ruled otherwise. That is why we are appealing this case to the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Robert Frommer, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice (IJ).“The Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling creates a new, grave threat to the Fourth Amendment protections not to be searched against your will. This ruling threatens the privacy of all Americans, not just those who operate food trucks,” Frommer said.

  • Food Trucks Involved in the Chicago Case

    Laura Pekarik of Cupcakes for Courage who has both food truck and a fixed location. Plus,Greg Burke and Kristin Casper of Schnitzel King who have gone out of the food truck business in Chicago.

    "We are sad to say we are closing our doors for now, but that doesn't mean the Schnitzel King will be off the road forever. With the harsh food truck laws in Chicago, coupled with some kinks at our storefront location, we've been forced to close down our schnitzel operations here in Chicago. We are taking our schnitzel to greener pastures so stay tuned for updates in the future. We are still going to stay in ourlawsuit against the City of ChicagowithCupcakes for Courage," said the Schnitzel King in an April 2014 blog post.

    Cupcakes for Courage Team in front of their truck
    (Photo from Cupcakes for Courage website)

    Food Trucks Involved in the Chicago Case
  • Why is GPS tracking on food trucks unconstitutional? 

    “Under that court’s ruling, the government could force anyone who needs a government-issued license to submit to invasive GPS tracking or other surveillance. This runs headlong into the basic constitutional principle that the government cannot force you to choose between your right to earn an honest living and your right to be free from unreasonable searches,” said Frommer.

    Chicago has a 200-foot ban is designed to make it nearly impossible for food trucks to operate inside the busiest areas. Food trucks canlegally park on only3% of the curbs inside the city's loop. "Food trucks that park any closer to a restaurant can be fined up to $2,000—ten times the fine for parking in front of a fire hydrant, which only underscores the economic protectionism at play here,” said IJ Attorney Joshua Windham.

    “City officials shouldn’t be in the business of protecting restaurants from food trucks,” said IJ Attorney Frommer in a 2015 press release.“Thankfully, the Illinois Constitution protects the right to earn an honest living, and it acts as a check against cities trying to stack the deck in favor of industry insiders.”

« Previous
Message 111 of 113
Next »