Ford Orders Recall Based On Door Latch And Seat Belt Defects

It was reported this week that Ford Motor Company has recalled 205,000 of its’ 2010 to 2013 model Taurus vehicles based on a door latch issue.

Ford says a door latch spring can become unseated, allowing the door to unlatch in a side-impact crash. The company says it knows of no injuries from the problem. Dealers will inspect the latches and replace door handles if needed.

The second recall covers just over 16,000 Transit Connect small vans in the U.S. from the 2014 model year. Seat belt fasteners can loosen, causing the belts to malfunction.

It has not been reported that either of these auto defects have caused in any injuries from auto accidents.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured from a Chicago auto defect accident or Chicago car crash, then contact Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for  a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Illinois State Lawmaker Proposes Statewide Ban On Red Light Cameras

I wrote a few weeks back about Chicago mayoral candidate, Bob Fioretti’s proposed ban on red light cameras in Chicago. As an alderman, he planned on submitting an ordinance that would outlaw red light cameras in Chicago. This sentiment has gained traction state-wide, as the Chicago Tribune reports that Representative David McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican, filed legislation to outlaw traffic enforcement cameras statewide.

McSweeney submitted this bill based on last month’s study published by the Tribune. I wrote about that study, which in essence, concluded that red light cameras provide zero net impact or safety improvements to intersections that hold these cameras. The number of cross-traffic or T-bone collisions have decreased, while the number of rear-end crashes have actually increased. This left the Texas A&M professors, who prepared the study, to conclude that red light cameras were not making the intersections any safer and were merely a money-maker for the city.

The bill would repeal state law that allowed Chicago to grow its red light program into the largest in the nation and also targets the mayor’s new speed camera program that began rolling out last year.

McSweeney said he had not yet discussed the proposed legislation with Madigan or the Democratic leadership in the House.

“At the end of the day, it’s important that we have debate on this issue, that we get a vote on the floor and hopefully ban these cameras,” said McSweeney, who added that Sen. Dan Duffy, R-Lake Barrington, is ready to sponsor the legislation in the Senate. “I am sure I will have a discussion with Speaker Madigan about it very soon.”

It will be interesting to see who acts first, the state legislature or the city alderman. Based on the recent press and scandals these cameras have delivered, I would not be surprised to see either a local or statewide ban of red light cameras by the end of the year.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck crash, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Tips On What To Do If You Are Injured At Work

Being injured at work is a common occurrence and can often be frightening. Several questions can pop up all at once. First and foremost, what is wrong with me and how severe are my injuries? Who is going to pay may medical bills and what if I cannot return to work for a period of time? What if I don’t like the way the company doctor is treating me?

All of these questions are very important, which is why you should always consult with an Illinois workers compensation attorney who can and will protect your rights. Under the Illinois Workers Compensation Act, if an employee is injured on the job, then employer must pay all of the related medical bills and 2/3 of the employees average weekly wage for any time off of work due to the injury. Assuming the injured employee returns to work, then he or she will be owed a permanency award at the end of the case. This is a very basic outline of the benefits involved with workers compensation.

There are multiple things to remember if you suffer from a work injury. Below are list of things that you should and should not do if you are injured at work.

1. Do  report the injury to your supervisor/employer immediately and preferably in writing.

2. Do seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

3. Do give a detailed accident history to your treating physician describing how the work injury occurred.

4. Do have your doctor put any work restrictions in writing and forward to your employer.

5. Do keep your employer updated on your medical treatment and let him or her know if you have been released from treatment or sent back to work.

6. Do not disobey your doctor’s orders concerning treatment, restrictions or return to work.

7. Do not miss any doctor’s appointment or therapy sessions.

If you or someone you love has been involved in an Illinois work accident or has an Illinois workers compensation case, please have them call Chicago work comp attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, at 312-614-1076. I provide free legal consultations and can answer any questions.

 

Illinois’ New Traffic Laws For 2015

2014 was a busy year for the Illinois Legislature and outgoing Governor Quinn. Many new laws were passed, including several new traffic and boating laws. Below is a recap of the relevant laws that went into effect on January 1, 2015.

Higher Tollway Speed Limits

Senate Bill 2015, clarified an earlier bill that raised the speed limit to 70 mph on some highways and interstates. This new bill (which was vetoed by Governor Quinn and later overridden by the Illinois House) raises the speed limit on tollways and expressways in and around the Chicago area and metro east St. Louis. The earlier bill did not include the Chicago or St. Louis areas.

Change In Traffic Stops

A new law sponsored by Senator Mike Noland, an Elgin Democrat, allows drivers who are ticketed for minor traffic stops like speeding, are no longer required to hand over their license as a bond assuring they will appear in Court. Now ticketed drivers can sign an agreement promising to pay the ticket or to appear in Court.

Second, there was a new bill outlawing ticket quota systems by police agencies.

New Boating Laws

Sen. Julie Morrison, a Deerfield Democrat, won approval for a new law that requires a boat that’s towing someone to display an orange flag.  This bill was passed in honor of the 2012 death of Libertyville 10-year-old Tony Borcia. Tony died after he fell off a tube being towed in the Chain O’ Lakes and was hit by another boater.

Another allows police to seize the craft of an intoxicated boater in some cases.

As always, I will continue to post and analyze any new proposed or passed Illinois traffic laws.

If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Illinois boating accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Georgia Man Ticketed For Eating Hamburger & Driving

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that a Georgia man was given a traffic citation for driving and eating a hamburger. More specifically, the officer cited the driver for:  “exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle.”

It does not appear that there is a specific law against eating and driving in Georgia but the officer followed the man for two (2) miles and concluded that he was driving erratically enough that he deserved a ticket.

I did some research and there is no law in Illinois that forbids eating and driving. The Illinois State Police’s website does caution against eating and driving as ways to avoid distracted driving. Their website states: “Stop to eat or drink. Drive-through windows and giant cup holders make it tempting to have a meal while driving, but you’re safer when you stop to eat or drink. If you can’t avoid eating while driving, try to avoid messy foods.”

This may appear as a funny news bit but I believe eating and driving can be just as distracting as texting or using your phone while driving. All it takes is a second or two of not paying attention that can cause a driver to lose control and swerve into another lane or rear-end a fellow driver. This is especially true for messier foods. I agree with the State Police. Put the food down and wait until you can park somewhere to finish your meal.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Red Light Camera Operator In Missouri Settles Class Action Lawsuit

According to the Kansas City Star, more than 100,000 drivers caught by red-light cameras in the Kansas City area (900,000 statewide) could get partial refunds under a proposed settlement of class-action lawsuits announced Friday.

American Traffic Solutions, which has provided the red-light cameras used in Kansas City, Grandview, Excelsior Springs and Sugar Creek, along with 23 other cities across Missouri, said Friday it had agreed to resolve all pending class-action lawsuits on behalf of those communities.

The total value of the settlement is estimated at $16 million, and each plaintiff/class member would receive a $20.00 refund from American Traffic Solutions in the settlement.

The basis for the class action lawsuit was that red light cameras were unconstitutional or in conflict with Missouri state law. In other words, the red light camera ordinance was perceived as a money maker rather than a safety provision. The Missouri Supreme Court will address the issue of whether red light cameras are constitutional within the next month.

 

As I have written here before, there is a class action lawsuit pending in Illinois against former Chicago area red light camera operator, Redflex, which alleges that this company was unjustly enriched millions of dollars through their contract with the city. It has been alleged in criminal court that Redflex employees received their contract with the city through bribes. There does not appear to be any class actions pending in Illinois which contest the constitutionality of the red light cameras.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, the call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-268-7385.

 

Chicago Tribune Study: Red Light Cameras Do Not Decrease Car Accidents

The Chicago Tribune commissioned an independent study with Texas A&M University professors to determine whether Chicago’s red light cameras actually make busy intersections safer for drivers.

The study, which confirms earlier studies by Texas A&M, concluded that the cameras make very little overall difference regarding traffic accidents.  The study, which accounted for declining traffic accident rates in recent years as well as other confounding factors, found cameras reduced right-angle crashes (t-bone accidents) that caused injuries by just 15 percent.  At the same time, the study calculated a corresponding 22 percent increase in rear-end crashes that caused injuries, illustrating a trade-off between the cameras’ costs and benefits.

“The biggest takeaway is that overall (the program) seems to have had little effect,” said Dominique Lord, an associate professor at Texas A&M University’s Zachry Department of Civil Engineering who led the Tribune’s study.  “So the question now is: If we eliminate a certain type of collision and increase the other and overall it stays the same, is there an argument that it is fair to go with the program?” Lord said. “That is a question that I cannot answer.  “Just the elected officials can answer for that.”

So there is the million dollar question. If there is no safety benefit, and merely an economic one, should the city continue with its’ red light camera program? Mayoral candidate, Alderman Bob Fioretti, stated last month that he would do away with the program and plans on submitting an ordinance in April. What will Mayor Emanuel do? He has yet to respond.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-588-3384.

Chicago Alderman Calls For End To Red Light Cameras

I’m not sure how I missed this last week, but Chicago Alderman and 2015 mayoral candidate, Bob Fioretti, has called for the end of red light cameras in the city. According to the great website, dnainfo.com, Fioretti said at a news conference at City Hall in December that he would submit local ordinance that would put an end to red light cameras.  “The majority of red-light cameras do little to create safety,” Fioretti said, citing a Texas A&M study showed they might help reduce so-called T-bone crashes of cars crossing in the intersection, only to increase rear-end, same-direction collisions involving cars either speeding up or slowing down at a yellow light.

He also said they were riddled with corruption and cited how the city ended its relationship with the original camera firm, Redflex, in a case that found city and company officials charged with federal crimes, with one already having pled guilty.

“The entire program is fraught with failed oversight, corruption and unfair enforcement,” Fioretti added.

According to this article Chicago has the largest traffic camera program in the country with 350 red-light cameras and 130 speed cameras.

This is quite a development as I have written on this blog over and over again that red light cameras do not make our intersections safer. In fact, as Alderman Fioretti pointed out, some studies have claimed that they make intersections more dangerous because drivers are timid and often stop short when they should drive through.

I have not seen a response from Mayor Emanuel on this issue but I seriously doubt he would pull the plug on traffic cameras at this point. City Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld defended the cameras in a statement: “The act of running a red light is against the law and can have disastrous and life-altering consequences including serious injury or death,” she said. “Traffic safety is a serious and important issue, and red-light enforcement cameras play a key role in helping to improve public safety.”

I have not decided who I am going to vote for next month but this is an issue I will definitely keep in mind before going to polls.

If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.