Despite a pedestrian safety law passed by the state of Illinois in 2010, pedestrian accidents have continued to be a huge issue in the city of Chicago. According to the Chicago Tribune, Chicago averages 3,000 auto pedestrian accidents and 30 pedestrian deaths per year. To combat this issue, Chicago police have organized 60 pedestrian safety enforcement stings planned for this year to draw attention to this ongoing issue. The operations will be conducted close to schools, senior citizen housing and busy retail areas, officials said.
Motorists are required to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks under a state law that took effect in 2010. The law, which carries a possible $120 fine in Chicago and up to $500 in some other jurisdictions, replaced a requirement that drivers yield to pedestrians and stop when necessary.
Chicago police last year issued more than 1,200 tickets for failure to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, officials said. City officials say their goal is to eliminate half of serious pedestrian injuries during the next five years and the other half five years after that.
As I have written about multiple times in the past, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago officials have made it a priority to make city streets safe and accessible for bicyclists. I think equal attention needs to be provided for pedestrian safety. We live in one of the most congested cities in North America for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, and this type of enforcement is necessary to ensure drivers are following the rules of the road, which will in turn protect everyone – – including pedestrians.
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