Illinois State Police Enforcing New “Move Over” Law

According to the Illinois State Police’s (“ISP”) Facebook page, the department is focused on cracking down against drivers who violate the “Move Over” or “Scott’s law.” Enacted in 2017, 625 ILCS 5/11-907 (C), requires drivers drivers slow down, move over to another lane and proceed with caution if a car is stopped on the shoulder.

According to the Facebook post, in emergency situations where vehicles are stopped on the side of the road, the ISP may be placing an extra trooper near an accident to catch people who don’t follow the law. The trooper may be hiding in front of the stopped vehicle or behind another trooper vehicle, making it look like backup.

Violators of the statute will face a minimum of a $100 and up to a $10,000 fine, depending on the severity of the violation. For example, if the driver fails to slow down or switch lanes and then injures someone or causes property damage, then they will face a much higher fine. The ultimate fine is up to the discretion of the judge as there is no sliding scale written in the statute.

The law was enacted in honor of Lieutenant Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver while at the scene of an accident.

Please take caution when you see a vehicle on the side of the road, not just because you will avoid a ticket, but because you could avoid causing a major traffic accident.

If you or a loved was injured in a serious Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Are Faulty Traffic Light Boxes Causing Pedestrian Accidents In Chicago

CBS 2 Chicago produced an interesting story this week about faulty or “dark and faded” traffic light boxes around the city. The report pointed out that they counted a total of twenty-two (22) faded boxes on the North Side alone. Specifically, all four (4) light boxes were completely out at the intersection of Clark and Chicago streets.

The report asks whether these faulty light boxes could be the cause in the recent surge of pedestrian accidents in the city. It was noted that there were 207 pedestrian accidents alone that were reported in January of this year.

The news station reached out to CDOT asking for a comment and their only response was a generic press release stating: “electrical office schedules repairs on an ongoing basis.”

Further, the most recent report from “Vision Zero” did not mention any plans to update or maintain faulty traffic light boxes. “Vision Zero” is the city’s broad plan to eliminate all traffic fatalities in Chicago by the year 2026.

This seems to be a simple fix and something that should already be budgeted for by the city counsel. It should be a priority by the city to stay vigilant in the upkeep and repair of traffic light boxes if they plan to meet their goals from “Vision Zero.” Chicago has some of the heaviest foot and bicycle traffic in the U.S., and simple bulb repairs should not fall behind at any time. Especially when the city has publicly made pedestrian safety such a high priority. At least that is what they have stated.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a Chicago traffic accident or a Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Ford Motors Recalls 1.5 Million Vehicles For Defects

Earlier this week Ford Motor Company announced to that they would be recalling almost 1.5 million Lincoln and Ford vehicles. The main culprit appears to be the 2011 – 2013 F-150 trucks that contain 6 speed transmissions. According to press releases, the faulty downshift to first gear has caused 5 accidents thus far, plus a concern of whiplash injuries. Approximately 1.48 million F-150 vehicles will be recalled

Ford spokespeople stated: ” Depending on vehicle speed, a downshift to first gear without warning could result in a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash.” Ford is also recalling 27,000 2017 to 2019 Lincoln Continental vehicles , and 4,200 2019 Ford Mustangs silicon contamination in the door latch, which can prevent it from fully engaging.

The main cause for concern is the F-150. If you own one of these trucks, it is important to take in immediately and have the part repaired. We will follow this closely to see if any other accidents are related to this auto defect.

It is important to point out that auto accidents caused by auto defects are completely different than your normal car accident caused by another driver’s negligence. If the evidence shows that a car crash was caused by a defect in the vehicle (as described above in the F-150 trucks), then the injured party can make a claim or ultimately file a lawsuit based on the auto defect. The complaint will include a count in their complaint against the auto maker alleging the auto defect caused the accident and the resulting damages. In Illinois, a plaintiff must plead and prove that (1) the injury or damage resulted from a condition of the product manufactured or sold by the defendant, (2) that the condition was an unreasonably dangerous one, and (3) that the condition existed at the time the product left the manufacturer’s control. This may sound easy on its’ face, but auto makers and other manufacturers of products defend these cases fiercely, specifically by hiring high paid experts to argue that either to product wasn’t unreasonably dangerous or it didn’t cause the injuries in question. It is important to consult with an attorney if you believe you were injured by an auto defect.

If you or a loved one were injured by a Chicago auto defect or involved in a Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Study Says Chicago 3rd Worst In Traffic Congestion

INRIX, a global transportation analytics company released a new study this week regarding traffic congestion in the U.S. and globally. The study revealed, to no ones surprise, that Chicago ranked as the 3rd most congested city in the U.S. The study stated that Chicago drivers wasted 138 hours sitting in traffic last year, and the traffic back-ups cost $1,920 per driver in 2018.

One reason experts have noted for the surge in traffic congestion in Chicago is due to the robust downtown economy. Several companies have opened new offices downtown and in the West Loop, including McDonalds and Google.

The thing that puzzles me about this ranking and about the traffic in general in Chicago is that there are so many alternate options for a work commute. Chicago has some of the most efficient train and bus lines with the CTA, and the number of bicycle commuters continues to grow, especially the number of dedicated bike lanes throughout the city. Also, Metra provides train rides for tens of thousands of commuters into the city every day. One factor that I didn’t see mentioned in any of the articles written about this study is the amount of road construction that has been going on. I-290 has been under construction the last several years. Hopefully when that is completed, it will free up a lot of the congestion from all directions coming into downtown.

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

Chicago Mayoral Candidates Weigh In On Red Light Cameras

The Chicago mayoral election takes place on February 26, 2019. There are currently fourteen (14) candidates. It is a little overwhelming when trying to decide to vote for as there a several familiar names but many no one has heard of before. There are myriad of issues important to voters such as crime, property taxes, jobs, road construction etc… It can be difficult to see where candidate stands and how they stand out from others.

The Chicago Tribune recently collected information on Red Light Cameras, an issue I have studied and written about multiple times in the past. The Tribune wanted to know where each candidate stood. The good news is that all of the candidates they collected opinions on at least want to modify the current number of cameras and at least study the value of keeping them.

The following candidates states they wanted remove the cameras altogether:

Willie Wilson, Gery Chico and La Shawn Ford

The following candidates want to study the value of keeping the cameras and would be in favor of eliminating some of the cameras:

Toni Preckwinkle, Susana Mendoza and Jerry Joyce

The following candidates want to review the current fee structure and assess the fairness, especially those in poorer neighborhoods:

Lori Lightfoot and Bill Daley.

This is encouraging news. Most all of the candidates admitted to the newspaper something we have all known for years: red light cameras were a money grab by the city. Studies published by Northwestern and the Tribune, call into question as to whether the cameras actually make intersections safer.

I will be looking forward to see whether the person elected actually lives up to their promise, to at least re-asses the value of the cameras and at least remove the ones that are not improving safety.

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

 

Will We See Self-Driving Cars Anytime Soon?

I have written about the perils of self-driving, autonomous cars many times in the past. There was the horrible accident in Arizona, where a self driving Uber crashed into a woman who was walking across the street. There have been other fatal car accidents involving self-driving Tesla vehicles.

The question the general public continued to ask itself was whether self-driving vehicles are safe and whether they would become more mainstream. I have been dubious of self-driving cars from the beginning for various reason. I’m not the only one. Associated Press writer, Tony Krisher, published an article recently listing all the reasons we will not see autonomous, self-driving cars in the very near future. Below is an outline of his reasoning:

  1. Snow & Weather: Kirsher believes that the technology for self-driving car cameras have a hard time seeing through eavy snow, rain, fog and sandstorms. The technology is just not there yet.
  2. Pavement Lines & Curbs: Kirsher points out that every city and state has different lane line and curb placement and it is difficult of the computerized vehicles to differentiate from city to city.
  3. Human Driver Factor: Kirsher rightly points out that human drivers do not always obey the rules of the road, and that the technology is still dealing with how to respond to humans who drive erratically, park illegally etc…
  4. Left Turns: The car makers have openly admitted that they are still having problems with left hand turns when there is no green arrow. This is a problem human drivers encounter and the designers of self-driving cars are having difficulty with the same timing issues.
  5. Consumer Acceptance: Kirsher mentions a AAA study showing that 73% of consumers would currently have trouble fully trusting a self-driving vehicle. This has obviously come after stories like the fatal car accident in Arizona last year.

Mr. Kirsher makes some great points in his article. I think the important thing to remember is that the technology is coming, and more and more vehicles will be developed and designed with self-driving options. The question will remain as to whether our society be ready for it ten or fifteen years from now.

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