Yearly Archives: 2011

Driving Tips For A Safe New Year’s Eve

The best advice for drivers on New Year’s Eve?

Don’t drive!

Go ahead and pop that champagne cork tonight, but perhaps the best strategy to make sure you get home safely is to leave the car at home this evening.

New Year’s Eve is notoriously one of the most dangerous nights to drive, for obvious reasons. In addition, anytime you mix alcohol and driving, motorists are at risk for DUI.

People residing in the city proper have many alternatives to driving themselves.

New Illinois Driving Laws Ring In 2012

When Illinois rings in the new year, motorists will see a handful of new driving laws on the books they need to be aware of.

Back Seat Buckle Up

It should not be news to anyone that up until now, both driver and front seat passenger, along with any children under the age of 19, needed to wear safety belts while in the car.

Until now, adult back seat passengers were not legally obligated to wear a seat belt.

But starting January 1st, back seat passengers will not have luxury of going belt free and under the law must also wear a safety belt.

“Safety belts have proven to be effective at reducing the severity of injuries and saving lives in automobile crashes,” said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

Back seat passengers caught not wearing a seat belt could face a $25 fine.

The only exception to the back seat safety belt law will be in the back of taxis and emergency vehicles.

Judge Tosses Lawsuit To Stop Toll Hikes

Jim Tobin is mad.

Last week, judge Rita Novak dismissed a lawsuit filed by Tobin and others on December 20th, that questioned the Illinois Tollway Authority’s ability to raise toll rates and declined to issue an injunction to stop the 87% toll increase slated to go into effect on January 1st.

“The hearing was a spectacle,” said Tobin. “Tollway users were represented by noted attorney Andrew Spiegel, and State Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) must have been worried, because she had six — that’s right — six of her taxpayer paid staff there to represent the Tollway Authority.”

Tobin is the founder of Taxpayers United for America (TUA) , a non-profit group that had just celebrated it’s 35th year of fighting higher taxes.

PETA Wants Roadside Memorial To Dead Cows

The sign proposed by PETA for a roadside memorial to 16 dead cows

The people behind the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are just nuts.

Earlier this week, the wacko animal rights group announced they were officially asking the state of Illinois to erect a roadside memorial to commemorate the death of 16 cows which were killed in an accident back in May where I-80 and I-294 meet.

It was truly a horrific accident, as a tractor trailer carrying cattle tipped over and spilled cows from the I-80 overpass onto I-294 below. Horrible.

Now, one nitwit PETA member formally submitted paperwork requesting a road marker be installed at the scene of the crash to honor the unfortunate bovine according to the Chicago Tribune.

Motorists’ Wallets Will Suffer In New Year

When local governments are broke, motorists should hide their wallets.

Car owners always seem to be the fall guys when local governments can’t balance their budgets.

Perhaps in no year is this more true than in 2012 when drivers will see an avalanche of fees, fines and cost increases to help bring in much needed revenue to cash starved government.

Here’s The Expired Meter’s roundup of the many cost increases drivers should expect to see when we ring in the new year.

Man Pays Parking Ticket 58 Years Late

Better late than never?

A 79-year old Houston, TX man found a parking ticket from 1953 and decided to do the right thing and pay his $1 ticket from 58 years ago to the City of Houston recently according to KHOU-TV.

Gov. Quinn Still Mulling Over Speed Camera Bill?

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn may deliver a belated Christmas present for Chicago drivers according to WBEZ Radio. Then again, maybe not.

The public radio station reports Quinn has been suspiciously quiet about the Illinois bill sitting on his desk which would allow Chicago to start using it’s red light camera system to start issuing $50 and $100 speeding tickets via the mail.

According to the story, Quinn has not even read the bill which was passed by the Illinois General Assembly back on November 9th, which now languishes on his desk awaiting his signature. As the article points out, the governor certainly has not tipped his hand on which way he’s leaning.

Boycott, Stop Parking At Meters Says Writer

Edward McClelland knows how Mayor Rahm Emanuel can break the city’s infamous parking meter lease contract.

According to the NBC website columnist, it’s as simple as just not driving and not parking on streets controlled by the city’s parking meters.

In other words, boycott the meters.

McClelland encourages his readers to bike, walk, or do anything else but use a car instead.

Parking meter revenue will decline, profits for the meter system will falter and then Chicago Parking Meters, LLC will be be forced to renegotiate the 75 year lease.

As much as we encourage drivers to avoid parking at the meters as much as possible, and with all due respect to Mr. McClelland, the chances of this ever happening are similar to one’s odds at winning a million dollars in the lottery.

Travel, Driving Enforcement Both Up For Holiday

This holiday season, more drivers will be headed over the river, through the woods to Grandmother’s house and many other destinations than last year according to a report by AAA.

Christmas holiday traffic will be up just a smidgen this year, at least according to AAA Chicago.

The group estimates 4.25 million Illinois drivers will be on the road for the 11 day holiday stretch between December 23rd and January 2nd this year–only a .5% increase from 2010.

News Coverage Spurs Surge In Disabled Parking Enforcement

That bright light of media coverage always does the trick.

The Chicago Sun-Times began investigating the rampant abuse of disabled parking placards and handicap license plates to park for free at metered parking spots in September.

After the paper began asking the city questions about the subject, for some reason, (coincidence we’re sure), the number of tickets for using a stolen, fraudulent or improperly used disabled parking placard or disability plates went through the roof according to reports obtained by the newspaper.