Safe Driving Is More Important Than Ever

Forbes magazine published an interesting article this week stressing the importance of safe driving during these perilous times. The crux of the article was that our healthcare systems cannot possibly keep up with serious injuries and other maladies that may come to their emergency rooms due to things like car accidents. Hospitals in certain parts of the country are already working at capacity due to the coronavirus epidemic.

According to car accident attorneys, there is a high importance of safe driving during this crucial period where many areas of the country are hitting their peak of coronavirus patients. According to the Global Alliance for NGO for road safety: “Hospitals and emergency services cannot manage road crash victims as they struggle to cope with the pandemic and governments are working hard to contain the virus.”

This means that if you must get into your car, put your phone down and focus on the road. And more importantly, do not get behind the wheel if you have been drinking. According to an auto accident attorney it is incredibly important to be vigilant while driving and to try your best to avoid traffic accidents if you have to take your car out.

The article also pointed out that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(“NHTSA”) has cancelled many of their annual traffic safety programs due to the coronavirus including Heat Stroke Awareness, Click It or Ticket, and Distracted Driving campaigns.  They are also postponing National Distracted Driving Awareness month from April to another month later this year. Regardless, I think it is critical that we all take extra precautions when we go out for a drive so that we can help soften the load for our first responders, emergency workers, doctors and nurses. They need our help more than ever and that starts by staying home or, at the very least, being careful behind the wheel.

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

Are Red Light Cameras Finally Coming To An End In Illinois?

Over the past several years I have written numerous posts about the viability, corruption and safety concerns of red light cameras in and around Chicago. The red light cameras have been scrutinized by the press and scientific communities questioning whether they actually make intersections safer. In fact, a study by Texas A&M and the Chicago Tribune concluded that there was a net zero impact on the red light cameras in Chicago. This led many to conclude that the cameras were merely a money grab by the city.

Due recent corruption charges to various Cook County politicians, we may finally see a roll-back and possible elimination of red light cameras in Illinois. Cook County Commissioner Jeffrey Tobolski resigned from his position within the County and also his position as mayor of suburbon McCook. hicago Department of Aviation and former top Illinois Department of Transportation official, Bill Helm, was charged with one count of bribery. Both of these individuals apparently have ties to State Senator Martin Sandoval, who plead guilty to charges that he took $250,000 in bribes from SafeSpeed LLC. as the red-light traffic camera company’s protector in the Senate and to help ensure the company was able to install red-light traffic cameras in Chicago suburbs.

The Illinois Legislature has had enough of the corruption and have recently passed bills that would cut down on the use of red light cameras, and possibly completely ban them. House Bill 322 was approved 84-4. non-home-rule communities would not be allowed to install the cameras in the future and would be required to remove any currently operational cameras by the beginning of 2021. That means 45 of the 101 communities in the state with red-light cameras would be forced to remove them.

Senate Bill 2902, if passed, would eliminate red light cameras in entirely throughout the state of Illinois. This is the bill I would like to see passed. I am not sure where Governor Pritzker stands on these bills. Based on the past corruption and the questionable viability as a safety measure, I do no see how these cameras are still allowed to be used in this state. I hope our lawmakers do the right thing.

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

Chicago May Lightfoot Introduced New Parking Ticket Ordinance

According to various news outlets, including the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduced a new city ordinance aimed at cracking down on drivers that are blocking bus and bike lanes.

If passed, the new law would allow parking enforcement aides to take a picture of a motorist parked in a bus or bicycle lane and mail the violation to the address of the license plate holder. The fines will range from $60 to $150. Currently, the ticket can only be issued if the vehicle is parked in a bus lane or bike lane. If someone drives off to avoid the ticket — even while a citation is being written — the parking enforcement aide is out of luck.

According to Mayor Lightfoots office, the purpose of the law to help decrease traffic congestion in the downtown loop. We already know that this has been a major focus for her office as she passed sweeping changes to downtown traffic laws in her most recent city budget. These changes included rate hikes for ride share companies in the downtown area and during peak rush hour time periods.

I applaud this new law as it aims to protect public transportation and bicyclists in the city. The whole purpose of designating lanes for buses and bicyclists is to encourage more people to use public transportation and to make life safer for bicyclists. How can that mission be protected if motorists continue to ignore the laws by blocking these lanes? I will be following this closely to see if the city council passes this proposed law.

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

Illinois Legislator Wants To Increase Speed Limits

Illinois State Senator, Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, has introduced two (2) bills that would increase the speed limit on Illinois interstates and highways. Senate Bill 2565 would raise the speed limit to 75 mph on interstates outside urban areas. Senate Bill 2564 would increase the speed limit on highways outside urban areas to a maximum of 60 mph from 55 mph.

These bills have faced opposition from safety groups and insurance companies, including AAA.

The Institute for Highway Safety found there is an 8% increase in fatal traffic accidents for every 5 mph increase in the speed limit. And the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says speed is a factor in 39% of fatal crashes in Illinois. The national average is 28%. The American Automobile Association, or AAA is opposing the bill releasing the following statement to the media: “This would be a dangerous step in the wrong direction, putting Illinois’ recent gains in traffic safety into serious jeopardy.”

These bills were assigned to the Transportation Committee last month. The bills cannot be voted on until they pass through committee approval before being voted on by the Senate or House. I have not seen any news recently that these bills will voted on or that there is a push to have these measures passed.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an Illinois Traffic Accident or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago accident lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Illinois Adds Zipper Merge To Its’ Rules Of The Road

I wrote in the my last post about the new Illinois traffic laws that went into effect at the beginning of the year. One of those new laws is the inclusion into the Illinois rules of the is is known as the zipper merge. The Illinois Rules of Road handbook for student drivers will now include an explanation of a zipper merge.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (“IDOT”), a zipper merge is when there is a lane closure due to construction or a traffic accident, drivers are to fill in both lanes all the way up to the merge point, at which point motorists will then have to take turns merging into the single lane. Traffic experts believe that is the quickest way to get through construction sites and entrances on highways during busy season. According to a 2013 Minnesota study, using the zipper merge reduces the length of traffic backups by as much as 40%, reduces congestion, creates a sense of fairness with everyone moving at the same speed, and reduces road rage.

This is the opposite of how most drivers have been operating for years. Typically, most drivers will get in line the lane that remains open after the merge. The challenge for the state is re-training drivers that the most efficient and safe way to drive is to fill both lanes. That is why all new drivers are learning this new method in the Rules of the Road handbook.

It will be interesting to see if motorists follow this new method as we see road construction all over the Chicago area during the spring and summer. I will also be looking to see if IDOT includes specific signage at construction sites that indicates to drivers that both lanes are available and should be used up until the merge point.

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