Mayor Emanuel’s Motorcade Caught Running Red Lights, Again.

Despite promises from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel that his motorcade would follow local traffic laws, they were caught by multiple cameras running red lights and even driving the wrong way. Back in January, in response to questions about traffic violations, the mayor responded: “”No one is above the law. Obey the law. Period.  Full stop,” Emanuel said.

Well, according to multiple news outlets, including, ABC 7,  NBC Chicago and My Fox Chicago, the mayor’s motorcade was shown by cameras running red lights at Lake Shore Drive and Belmont and at Cicero and Washington. These events took place on March 14, and March 21.

The videos, which can be seen on the Chicagoist website, clearly show that the violations were done by individual vehicles, not the case of a secondary vehicle trying to keep up with the first. This was the excuse the mayor gave back in January for previous violations.

The mayor’s office has yet to respond to these reports. This is interesting because Mayor Emanuel has stated over and over that red light cameras, speed cameras and pedestrian cross walk stop signs have all been implemented for public safety. These were not implemented for money making purposes, according to the mayor. Then why does the mayor and his staff continued to act as if they are above the law? Why have they not been ticketed and fined for these traffic violations? What if a car crash occurs due to these negligent actions? I’m looking forward to the mayor’s response.

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Chicago Police To Crack Down On Motorists At Cross Walks

Chicago Breaking News reported this that the Chicago police department is cracking down on motorists who do not slow down or stop an cross walks.  The crackdown comes after legislation was passed by the state on July 22, which states that drivers must stop for pedestrians in all crosswalks — even those that are unmarked or don’t have a stop sign or a traffic signal. The penalty for failing to stop is a traffic citation of $50 to $500. Fines vary by county.  Last year, there were more than 3,000 pedestrian-related accidents on Chicago streets. More than 50 of them resulted in pedestrian fatalities, an average of one a week. 

In the downtown, police and the city Traffic Management Authority are also working on plans to improve pedestrian compliance with traffic laws, officials said. Officials said it is being stressed to traffic-control aides that they do a better job of stopping pedestrians from crossing against traffic lights, which causes vehicles making turns to get hung up in intersections.

The new law may be a surprise to many motorists, in part because it will take some time to replace the thousands of “Yield” signs at intersections across the Chicago area. Among the changes taking place or planned in Chicago’s well and area suburbs are new must-stop street signs alerting the public to the crosswalk-rule change; expanded use of crosswalk markers placed in the median of streets near schools, parks and hospitals; and stepped-up police enforcement, officials said.

Chicago police commanders said officers have been busy enforcing the new law, writing 127 tickets in August alone during crosswalk-enforcement stings at intersections with a history of accidents involving pedestrians. During the stings, plainclothes officers posing as civilians try to cross streets at marked crosswalks. Drivers who don’t stop are pulled over and ticketed.

About 690 citations were issued to drivers failing to yield to pedestrians during stings conducted from April through July in the city, with most of those enforcement operations occurring before the new law took effect July 22, officials said.

As someone who walks all over the downtown loop and Lincoln Park, I am very happy to see this initiative. Further, I have a client who I am sure is pleased to see this police crackdown. The client was struck by a vehicle as she was walking to the red line as she was heading downtown for her morning commute. She spent a week in the hospital with skull fractures, hematoma and a severe concussion.  We will see if the number of auto – pedestrian accidents decrease in the Chicago area this year.

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