I wrote earlier this year that
Illinois Governor Quinn signed a new law that would allow undocumented
immigrants to apply for a temporary driver’s license that would allow them to
drive legally in the United States. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported
earlier this month, on November 12, the day has finally come for these
immigrants to apply for the license through the secretary of state’s
At their appointments (with
the Secretary of State’s office), applicants must provide documents proving
their date of birth; their written signature; their Illinois address for at
least one year, and insurance coverage. Their photo will be taken and processed
through the state’s facial recognition database, and they will take a driver’s
road test, a written test on the Illinois rules of the road, and a vision
test. Written materials will be provided in four other languages, and
translators will be available at facilities, but applicants also are encouraged
to bring friends or relatives with them to act as interpreters, Secretary of
State officials said. Once documents are verified and insurance is proven,
applicants will receive a driver’s license in the mail.
Officials estimated the in-person appointment process should
take two hours per person. They expect to issue 100,000 licenses a year, at $30
As I have written in the past, this is a win-win for
everyone in the state of Illinois. Regular working people, who pay taxes and
are otherwise law-abiding, will be allowed to drive legally. This, I believe,
will unclog the traffic court systems for unnecessary arrests and tickets
issued to undocumented immigrants. Also, I believe that the roads will be safer
as these drivers will have to learn the rules of the road and be required to
purchase auto insurance. Hopefully this will lead to fewer car accidents or at
the very least, protect motorists who are injured in traffic accidents with
more motorists who have insurance coverage.
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The Chicago Sun-Times reported
this week that 2700 tickets were issued by the new speeder cameras in their
first month of operation. The cameras are located in “safe zones”
throughout the city, specifically in front of schools and parks. Along with the
2700 tickets, there were an astounding 324,000 warning issued by the cameras.
The tickets issued have (or will) generated $245,160 in revenue for the
Motorists caught going 6 to 10
mph over the posted limit pay a $35 fine. Drivers caught going at least 11 mph
over the limit pay $100. In the first month of enforcement, 416 violations were
issued for those driving 6 to 10 mph over the speed limit; another 2,306 were
issued to those driving 11 mph or more over the speed limit, according to city
“It is encouraging to see that automated speed enforcement
has already had a significant positive impact on drivers’ behavior…But, we
still have a chronic problem of excessive speed and we need to continue to
change the culture of speeding in Chicago,” departing Transportation
Commissioner Gabe Klein was quoted as saying in a press release.
Mayor Emanuel has emphasized from the beginning that these
cameras were installed for safety purposes – – and not as a revenue generator.
This is interesting as his office estimates that ticket fines could raise $70
million is 2014. I will following this closely to see if there is a decrease in
car accidents and pedestrian accidents in these locations. I would also be
interested in knowing whether these “safe zones” were areas where
there was a high level of traffic accidents.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a Chicago car accident or Chicago pedestrian accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-588-3384.
If a Geneva alderman has
his way, a portion of Route 31 in his town will be reconfigured within the next
few years and will include bicycle lanes in both directions. Route 31 in Geneva could be reduced from four
lanes to two, with bicycle lanes added to the sides, under a proposal that
aldermen recently voted to advance.
As the Chicago
Tribune reconfiguration of the road, if approved, would happen with
the next five years. Any costs associated with the reconfiguration would likely
come from the city. The width of the road in question —
Route 31 from Fabyan Parkway to the Kane County Government Center — ranges
from 38 feet to 40 feet, officials said. The road diet would create two lanes
with bike lanes on each side, a middle turn lane, landscaped medians and a
pedestrian/bike trail crossing at a specific spot. Trying to cross from the
west side of the road to the east side on a bicycle or as a pedestrian is a
“risky venture” currently, said Phil Bus, Phil Bus, the former
development director for Kane County.
Though the terrain and
traffic levels are different, this is a similar approach taken in Chicago as
there have been multiple designated bicycle lanes created throughout the city
including Dearborn Street right through the heart of the downtown loop. The
main difference here is the roads did not have to be widened. Hopefully, if
approved, this will create a safer path for bicyclists and pedestrians in
If you or someone you
know has been injured in a Chicago bicycle accident or Chicago pedestrian accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-588-3384.
AAA’s Foundation for
Traffic Safety released the results of a four year study revealing that
Americans have become less concerned about the dangers of certain driving
tactics. This is troubling for several reasons. First, as I have written on
this blog multiple times, texting and emailing while driving has become an
epidemic in this country and is considered as dangerous as drinking and
driving. The same can be said about driving without enough sleep. Legislatures
(including Illinois) have stepped up to the plate and enacted laws banning
distracted driving and have increased penalties. Further, the major cell phone
companies have joined together with campaigns such as “It Can Wait,”
to try and curb texting and driving. This is what is so troubling: why – –
despite new laws and publicity – – are drivers in this country becoming less
concerned about these issues?
results during the previous four years show decreasing concern for dangerous
number of people who believe drinking and driving is a serious threat declined
from a near universal 90 percent in 2009 to 69 percent in 2012.
number of people who consider drowsy driving a very serious threat declined
from 71 percent in 2009 to 46 percent in 2012.
number of people who believe that texting or emailing while driving is a very
serious threat declined from 87 percent in 2009 to 81 percent in 2012. The
number of people who admit to texting while driving increased from 21 percent to 26 percent during the same
number of people who consider red-light running to be completely unacceptable
declined from 77 percent in 2009 to 70 percent in 20012.
made great strides in recent years to reduce road deaths, but there are still
too many needless fatalities caused by dangerous driving,” said Jake Nelson,
AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “It is clear that more
must be done to address the dangers of drunk, aggressive and drowsy driving to
stem this concerning trend.”
are we to make of this study? How much more can legislatures do to prevent this
type of behavior? Suspend licenses? That may seem a little drastic but what if
the number of distracted traffic accidents do not decrease after the new laws
go into effect after January 1. These are issues both the Illinois legislature
and cell phone companies will have to look at.
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free consultation at 312-588-3384.