Chicago Red Light Camera Violations Down Amid Coronavirus

Red light cameras have been a topic I have written about numerous times on this site. The issue has been often criticized by the media and academics alike. The characters behind the contracts with the city of Chicago have been put in jail for fraud, all the while multiple studies have shown they bring almost no positive safety impact on the intersections where the lights are placed.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandamic outbreak, which led to a shelter-in-place throughout the state, the Illinois house of representatives passed a bill that would have outlawed red light cameras. That bill never had a chance to reach the Senate as the state legislature closed down like most businesses.

Regardless, red light cameras are still in effect in Chicago and throughout Illinois. The Chicago Sun Times reported last week that red light camera violations are down 45% in March compared to February 2020. And compared to March 2019, red-light violations in Chicago were down 54%, numbering just 19,840 in March 2020 compared to 42,812 in March 2019. “At this time, we are seeing a nationwide trend of fewer citations overall, driven by the lower amount of traffic on the roads,” said Neil Franz, a spokesman for Conduent State & Local Solutions Inc., the vendor that operates Chicago’s red-light cameras.This is no surprise as motor vehicle traffic is way down since the shelter-in-place order took effect in mid-march. I have not seen any numbers for April yet.

As I have written multiple times in the past, I do not see any benefit of red light cameras other than a money grab for local governments. Studies have been performed by engineers and traffic experts that conclude there is no beneficial safety impact for having red light cameras in place. What is the point of having these in place if they do not make our intersections safer? I hope that when the Illinois legislature is back in session (presumably this Fall), they take up this bill again and outlaw these cameras foreever.

If you or 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 Governer Extends Automatic Workers Compensation Coverage To Essential Front Line Workers

Illinois Governer J.B. Pritzker took bold executive action this week by extending Workers’ Compensation coverage to all essential front line workers who believe they contracted the Covid-19 virus while on the job. Pritzker amended the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act to allow front line workers to obtain workers compensation coverage without having to prove throught medical testimony that they actually contracted the virus while on the job.

All other Illinois Workers’ Compensation claims require the Petitioner (employee) prove that their injury or condition was caused on the job. Pritzker wants to eliminate that step for essential workers who are putting their health on the line by going into work every day: ““We owe (essential workers) a debt that we can never fully repay. But to start, we can give them the peace of mind to know that they will be covered if they fall ill on the job.” This amendment to the Act covers health care workers, police and fire personnel, corrections officers, grocery store workers and food producers.

Illinois work comp benefits can include payment of all related medical bills, lost wages (2/3 of your average weekly wage), and permanent disability lump some payments once you are allowed to go back to work.

I applaud Governer Pritzker for taking this step to provide protection to our front line workers. There are no doubt hundreds, if not thousands, of essential workers who will become infected with Covid-19. Allowing employers to deny these claims would be a disservice to these people who are putting their lives on the line day in and day while we deal with this global pandemic.

If you or a loved one was injured at work or has an Illinois Workers’ Compensation claim or a Chicago work accident, then call Chicago work comp lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.

Chicago Police Conduct Roadside Stops Based On Stay At Home Order

The Chicago Police announced this week that they would be conducting roadside safety checks pertaining to the “stay at home order” issued by Governor JB Pritzker. The “stay at home order” was issued due to the outbreak of the Covid – 19 virus. The “stay at home” order lasts until April 30.

I interpret this as something similar to a DUI checkpoint that police often set up to prevent drinking and driving. DUI checkpoints, which are random stops of vehicles primarily on weekend nights, have been ruled as constitutional as the public safety concern outweighs the 4th amendment search and seizure protections. It seems the Chicago Police are using the same reasoning behing this type of roadside stop as they don’t want people out on the road who don’t need to be.

The Governor’s order provided the following exceptions for essential travel outside of homes:

-Performing essential activities, governmental functions, business and operations

-Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities or other vulnerable persons

-Receiving materials for distance learning, receiving meals and any other related services from an educational institution.

-Returning to a place of residence from outside of jurisdiction

-Following the direction of law enforcement or court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement

-Returning to a place of residence outside the state for non-resident

The announcement did not state how long these roadside checks would last or where exactly in the city they would set up. I’d imagine they would set up on busy roadways like Lakeshore Drive and/or busy exits on and off the Eisenhower and Kennedy.

If you or someone you love 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 312-1614-1076 or go to www.blgchicago.com

FDA RecallsZantac Heatburn Medication

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced yesterday that they are recalling all over the counter and prescription rantidine drugs, which is known by the brand name Zantac. This also includes all generic versions of the drug. Importantly, the FDA advised consumers to stop taking any ranitidine tablets or liquid medications they currently have. 

The FDA announced in their recall that an ongoing study revealed

that levels of a contaminant in the heartburn medications increase over time and when stored at higher-than-normal temperatures, pose a risk to public health.The contaminant, N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA, is a probable human carcinogen and the FDA has been investigating levels of it in ranitidine since the summer of 2019. In short, studies have shown that prolonged used of Zantac (and its’ generic version) could cause certain forms of cancer.

If you have Zantac in you medicine cabinate, please stop taking it and throw it away immediately. If you believe you have a cancer diagnosis that could be linked to long term use of Zantac, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.