Monthly Archives: October 2012

CBS 2 Catches City Of Chicago Vehicles Behaving Badly

CBS 2 news producer Ed Marshall has been noticing a lot of City of Chicago vehicles parking illegally in tow zones lately.

Not surprisingly, none of these vehicles ever seem to get parking tickets or towed.

Halloween Safety Tips For Drivers, Trick Or Treaters

jack-o-lanternHalloween may be the most dangerous night of the year for kids.

And not because of all the stomach aches that occur from consuming an overabundance of candy.

No, there are multiple studies that indicate more children are hit by vehicles on October 31st than any other 24 hour period of the year.

So, here are a few tips when you’re out driving on Halloween to make sure everyone gets home safe and sound Thursday evening.

1-Slow Down

Suburban Red Light Camera Revenue Declining

From Naperville to Arlington Heights, Geneva to Orland Park and many towns in between, revenue from suburban red light camera programs is declining according to the Chicago Tribune.

The newspaper surveyed towns all over the greater Chicagoland area and found universally, RLC violations and revenue are down.

In some cases, the decline is stunning.

In west suburban Geneva, revenue has dropped from $364,000 in the first year cameras were installed to a miniscule $10,700 so far in 2012.

Study: Halloween Deadliest Day Of The Year For Kids

Halloween is the scariest day of the year.

Not just because of all the ghosts, ghouls, goblins and monsters stalking neighborhoods for free candy this time of year.

But according to a newly released, comprehensive study commissioned by State Farm Insurance, October 31st is far and away the most dangerous day of the year for children-no other day even came close.

There’s no other day of the year where children are more at risk for being struck and killed by a vehicle than Halloween according to researcher Bert Sperling of Sperling’s Best Places, who analyzed over four million records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) between 1990 – 2010, for children under 18 years old on October 31.

Sperling’s research found 115 juvenile pedestrians were killed on October 31 over the past 21 years. That’s an average of 5.5 children killed by a motor vehicle every Halloween, shockingly, more than double the 2.6 juvenile crash fatalities any other day of the year.

“I think it’s pretty thorough,” says State Farm’s Tom Laxton about the scope of this research. “There’s a lot of kids out there and we want all kids to be as safe as possible.”

The hour between 6-7 PM was the deadliest hour of the evening the research shows, accounting for 25% of all deaths, with the span of 5-9 PM accounting for over 60% of juvenile pedestrian deaths that day.

Children between 12-15 years old was the age group accounting for the highest percentage of fatalities with 32%, followed by 5-8 year old children accounting for 23%.

Where are costumed children most likely to be struck by a car? Far and away it’s the middle of the block–a jolting 70% of juvenile pedestrian fatalities occur mid-block on Halloween–when excited children bolt across the street often from between parked cars.

Part 2: Fighting Traffic Tickets Can Be Fun?

The Step by Step Process In Fighting A Traffic Ticket

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Part 2 of a multi-part series following the Parking Ticket Geek’s recent adventures in trying to fight a Chicago traffic ticket.

In Part 1 of the series, the Geek gets pulled over for allegedly making an illegal left turn.

PART 2: Returning To The Scene Of The “Crime”

After the CPD squad had departed, I broke out my camera and walked back to the intersection to take some photos.

Admittedly, there were two signs posted, but they were not working. The signs were electrical back lit signs but the lights were burned out. I know this because there were two similar signs on the opposite of the intersection. One was working but the other was not.

I came back to confirm this at night, and yes, three of four lighted signs at this intersection were not working. While admittedly, the signs were readable during the day, they of course are not readable at night. Glad to know the city is so concerned about traffic safety.

City Investigating Parking Tickets At Private Parking Lots

These parking tickets come in a bright yellow envelope.

And unlike their bright orange cousins the City of Chicago issues, these parking tickets were stuck to vehicles parked at downtown parking lots.

Based on a Chicago Sun-Times investigation, many drivers who normally use a parking lot at 550 W. Kinzie, came back to find the yellow envelopes on their cars. The tickets were “issued” due to lack of payment.

The truth was, some drivers admitted to the Sun-Times they didn’t pay for parking. However, the payment kiosk that day was not working. Without an actual human being on the premises to accept payment, regular drivers parked anyways.

Many frustrated drivers ended up going to the online payment website and paying their fine. But now, these motorists may get a refund.

State Police, IDOT Try To Scare Drivers Sober For Halloween

The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police are trying to scare the hell out of drivers this Halloween holiday weekend.

IDOT and State Police are warning drivers law enforcement will be out in full force this weekend looking to bust motorists who have consumed too many alcoholic treats and/or are not wearing seat belts.

“The most frightening aspect of Halloween is not the daunting costumes or the chilling pranks, but rather the understanding that some Illinois drivers may still make the wrong choice to drive drunk this holiday weekend,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider said utilizing as many Halloween themed puns as possible. “We strongly encourage all Halloween participants to designate a sober driver before leaving the house, and always buckle up and drive defensively.”

It’s Critical Mass Friday Again

Coming off last month’s 15th anniversary bike ride, it is again the last Friday of this month and time again for Critical Mass Chicago.

With cooler, and perhaps wetter weather on Friday, turnout will most likely be depressed–a good thing for drivers who will routinely be delayed 10-20 minutes by the hundreds if not sometimes, thousands of riders who have been known to participate in this monthly display of bike power.

Critical Mass steps off from Daley Center Friday evening at 5:30 PM.

Happy Friday?

Zombies Attack In Click It Or Ticket Ad Campaign

Virginia is for lovers and Halloween is for zombies.

Despite the fact that this public service announcement was actually released back in May, in the spirit of Halloween, we thought we’d share IDOT’s “Zombie” click it or ticket video reminding drivers to wear their seat belts–even if you’re in the back seat of the vehicle.

Actually, these are pretty decent ads as they lack the usual overbearing hectoring of a typical lame PSA. The cleverness and sense of humor makes it effective in our opinion. Of course, perhaps we’re just suckers for zombies here.

Below is a bonus video, the second of three in the campaign. The third one is in Spanish. How does one say “Click it or ticket” or “zombie” in Spanish?

Tailgating Bears Fans Busted For Disabled Parking Abuse

Talk about a buzz kill.

Just imagine it. The weather is beautiful, even balmy. Friends and family are tailgating, the grill is going, beer is flowing and everyone is excited about the Bears’ Monday night game at home against the Lions.

But then, Illinois Secretary of State law enforcement walk up and nail you for parking in a handicap parking spot.

That’s what happened to a handful of people tailgating at the Waldron Parking Deck outside Soldier Field Monday night according to the CBS Chicago website.