Chicago City Council To Vote On Floating Car Share Use

The Chicago Tribune reported this week that the company Car2Go is looking to operate in Chicago. The city council will vote this week as to whether they can operate here in Chicago. Car2Go, a car share company, allows members to pick up a car parked somewhere within a designated zone, use it for anything, and then park it somewhere else in the zone. The company is looking to operate, for now, on the North side, the loop and near South side. Certain areas of Lincoln Park and Lakeview are not included in the zone at this point.

Car2Go is different from other car share companies like Zipcar because they do not require you to return the car to the exact same spot it was picked up from. Based on this model, it looks like Car2Go allows  more flexibility than other car share companies as it allows you to basically take one way trips. For example, if you want to go out for the night in a certain neighborhood, and are not sure how long you will be gone, you can park the car in your destination area and not have to worry about taking it home at the end of the night where you started. It appears to be a micro version of Zipcar.  It will be interesting to see whether Zipcar adapts and provides more flexibility for their drivers and their ability to drop vehicles off at different locations. Car2Go is currently operating in eleven (11) U.S. cities along with cities throughout Europe and China.

Like Zipcar, Car2Go pays for insurance, gas and parking, while consumers pay for the time the car is used. Costs vary depending on the type of vehicle and the city — for a two-seater blue-and-white Smart Car, consumers typically pay about 41 cents a minute, $15 per hour and $60 per day.

There has been some opposition to this new ordinance, including from Ald. Michelle Smith, 43rd Ward, who represents Lincoln Park and opposes the ordinance, questioned whether the company will be paying the city enough for its privileges. (Under the ordinance, Car2Go  will pay a $75 per vehicle fee for parking in areas controlled by residential permits, as well as property lease and rental car taxes).

The question that has to be asked is whether a company like Car2Go actually reduces the number of cars on the streets where they operate. A study cited in the Tribune article stated that found that between 2 percent to 5 percent of Car2Go users sold a vehicle because of Car2Go, while another 7 percent to 10 percent held off on buying a car and that a Car2Go vehicle removes 7 to 11 vehicles from the road, and reduced total miles driven and emissions.

We won’t immediately know the effect this company will have on Chicago. First, the city ordinance will need to pass and then it will take at least a year to study how often the vehicles are being used and whether we see less vehicles on the road. Call me dubious, but I just don’t anticipate a huge decrease in traffic in such densely populated areas. People will still need to move around the city, whether it’s through a car share company, their own vehicle or from an Uber or Cab.

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

naked hot toddlers girls

Multiple news outlets have reported that a self-driving Uber vehicle, struck and killed a female pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona on Saturday night. Immediately following the news of this tragic traffic fatality, Uber  suspended all road-testing of such autos in the Phoenix area, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto.

The vehicle in question was a Volvo, which  was in self-driving mode with a human backup driver at the wheel when it hit 49-year-old woman as she was walking a bicycle outside the lines of a crosswalk, police said. The National Transportation Safety Board, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are both investigating the accident.

At this point, it’s unclear who was at fault for this traffic accident. I have a lot of questions though, as this is not the first car crash or traffic fatality involving self-driving cars. First, what in the world was the human, “back up” driver doing at the time of the accident? If the vehicle’s cameras didn’t pick up the pedestrian, then the back up human should have been paying attention and stepped on the brakes or swerved the vehicle herself. Otherwise, what is the point of having a back-up driver in the vehicle. Also, self-driving car proponents continue to tout the safety benefits of these vehicles (i.e. they don’t get drunk, fall asleep or read phones), yet we continue to see accidents. I will continue to follow this story to see how Uber and other companies react and whether the federal government intervenes at some point to implement their own regulations.

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

Chicago Police Create New Task Force To Target Carjackings

If you live in Chicago and follow the news, you are certainly aware of the recent increase in carjackings. The numbers released by various media outlets reveal that there were 960 reported carjackings in 2017 up from 663 in 2016 (a 45% increase). Through early February of this year there were already 86 reported carjackings.

As a result, Chicago Police Superintendent, Eddie Johnson, reported last month there they were forming a joint task force with the ATF, FBI,  Illinois State Police and federal prosecutors to help combat this recent surge in violent carjackings. The purpose pool resources and come up with a better way to hold offenders accountable for these crimes.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel called this a “first step,” in cracking down on carjackings. Superintendent Johnson stated during his press conference of this matter, ““We’re not playing around. If they want to continue to go out there and take an easy path to taking someone’s vehicle, we’re going to take that path and punish them to the fullest extent of the law that we can.”

I think this a logical first step in combating these types of crimes. I’m certain that these carjackings have citizens on edge as every night on the news there is a new story on these types of crimes. Many times these violent types of thefts turn into other violent crimes. Ironically, two Chicago men who were arrested in November over a carjacking that led to a high speed chase, are being charged with federal crimes, and could see stiffer sentencing if found guilt. It’s unclear whether the charges had anything to do with the joint task force.

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

Illinois Traffic Fatalities Up Again In 2017

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), 1080 people died from traffic accidents in 2017. That is up two (2) from the year before and more than what was recorded in 2014 and 2015.

“Distracted driving continues to be a concern, but it is incredibly hard to detect and enforce, some things we’ve noticed are an increase in number of motorcycle fatalities. Last year in February, it was warm enough for motorcyclists to be out on the road already.” said Kelsea Gurski, with IDOT.

IDOT said 158 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents last year. That was four more than had been killed the year before and 40 more than in 2014.

I have not seen any numbers to date trough the first two (2) months of 2018, so it is unclear whether we are at a better pace that 2017.

I agree with the IDOT spokesperson who stated that disctracted driving his hard to detect and enforce. As I have written in the past, the best solution, in my eyes, is to increase the fines and penalties for someone who is caught using their phone while driving. That is the only deterrent. I think it is fair to say that the stricter penalties for DUIs is one of the reasons we have seen a drop in drunk driving fatalities over the last 20 years.

If you or someone you know has been involved 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.