Tribune: Half The Kids Hit By Cars Within A Block Of Schools

The Chicago Tribune has been crunching some numbers.

Looking over Illinois Department of Transportation pedestrian crash data between 2007 and 2011, the newspaper calculates almost 1,700 school age children (between 5-18 years old), were struck by vehicles within a block of a school. This number accounts for 10% of all pedestrian crashes.

The Trib says 16,500 pedestrian crashes occurred in this five year period, with about 22% involving children.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has aggressively pushed a plan to install speed cameras within 1/8th of a mile from a school or park. But interestingly, according to police accident reports, most pedestrian crashes (over 4200 or 25%) were due to failure to yield. Only a tiny fraction of pedestrian crashes, just 117 of the 16,500 that occurred over the past five years, can be attributed to excessive speeds.

Perhaps most curious is the disproportionate number of juvenile pedestrian crashes occurring in poor neighborhoods on the city’s Southside and Westside.

The piece quotes Northwestern University professor Ian Savage, who speculates that people in poor neighborhoods are more inclined to walk than drive to school. Savage goes on to postulate suburban drivers looking to save time traveling into the city, speed through less affluent neighborhoods which, by their very nature, have less congested streets.

Here’s the Tribune’s numbers heavy analysis, “Tribune analysis: About half of the kids hit by cars are near a school, Chicago crash reports show.”

21 Responses to Tribune: Half The Kids Hit By Cars Within A Block Of Schools

  1. Pete says:

    Nice attempt at political correctness class warfare by the liberal Northwestern professor. Nobody drives from the suburbs through the ghetto to get to work in the loop. But plenty of ghetto inhabitants stroll along in the streets without any regard to anyone’s well-being including their own, which might explain the increased number of pedestrian accidents in poor areas.

  2. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Pete,

    Yeah, I noticed the professor’s skittering around the political correctness to somehow explain why the higher numbers of pedestrian crashes in low income neighborhoods. I do buy the argument that a higher proportion of kids walk to school in those neighborhoods. However, it’s not the only reason.

    I’m pretty confident suburban drives are NOT speeding through Englewood in order to get down as quickly as possible and maliciously running over hundreds of poor kids on their way to school.

  3. Lee says:

    When you talk about causes of crashes and speeding, I think you’re oversimplifying the factors in a crash. When a crash report says the cause was failure to yield, that does not mean the driver was not also speeding when they failed to yield. In fact, it’s much more difficult to yield if you are speeding. But more significantly, regardless of the cause of the crash or even who is at fault, the injuries are much more likely to be severe the faster the driver is going. At 20 mph, the survival rate for pedestrians is 95 percent; at 40 mph, pedestrians survive a crash only about 20 percent of time. There’s a reason school zone speed limits are what they are, and “that kid just ran out in front of me” does not excuse an injury or death that wouldn’t have occurred if the driver were obeying the speed limit.

  4. B says:

    The first part sounds like it comes from the No Sh*t, Sherlock Institute. Gee, most kids are hit by cars where there are the most kids? Who would have thought that it would occur where kids are concentrated in a small area every day? Arg.

    Now the second part is just absurd. Sounds like someone who has never lived in or near such neighborhoods. Here’s a hint for the professor… There is a lot of poor judgment driving wise in such neighborhoods by the -residents- of them. Now we can guess at the reasons but the frequency of people driving 40mph on 20-25mph residential street is considerably higher IME in the poorer areas. Suburban commuters (at least those not coming from poorer suburbs) are by and large afraid to drive through such neighborhoods.

    This study sounds like it was created to justify the speed cameras. It will be of no surprise to me that many of these speed cameras will be placed in poorer neighborhoods. Government likes preying upon people who can’t fight back effectively. However to avoid looking like that is exactly what they are doing they need a study to justify it. So first the obvious, more kids are hit by cars where more kids are walking. But that’s not enough, this ticketing, this driving tax, has to be sold by saying outsiders will pay it. So then comes the absurd theory of suburban commuters driving fast through the ghetto to avoid expressway traffic jams.

    It’s yet another nice piece of manipulation.

  5. Jeff says:

    How about teaching the little dumdfucks how to cross a street, starting in kindergarden. We all used to have to learn this basic skill years ago in school. Now the Chicago schools are too busy with handing out birth control, falsifying school lunch vouchers, and phonying up test scores and attendance records.

  6. david says:

    Wow… the racists are really out today. I see lots of whistle words to try to justify racial perceptions.

    I volunteer almost every morning to help Chicago School kids get out of their parent cars and get to School. In a nice, affluent Northside Neighborbood so you can put your class and race bigotry aside. And the problem is NOT the kids. The kids follow the traffic laws rather strictly. The problem are the drivers that speed through the street. Block the crosswalk sight lines. Turn Red at the intersections with no regard to kids in the crosswalk crossing at the light. Speeding down the street. Cutting in and out of traffic. texting or talking on cell phones.

    If you are worried about the Speed Camera’s, don’t speed. The drivers in the City brought it on themselves by their aggressive and overly fast driving. Personally, I think that the approach in many of the communities that touch Chicago works even better. Close the street down near the school for the school day.

    yes, I know, the usual garbage that the speed limits are too low and should be set for the 80th percentile. The problem with this is that this is the percentile where the driver is safe, not where the rest of the users of the road are safe.

    As for the attacks on the CPS, it is fortunate that Jeff’s demonstrable social skills make it very unlikely that he will ever have Children. Hopefully he will crawl back under his rock.

  7. Jeff says:

    David:

    How is my criticism of CPS management (or should I say “mis-management”) any reflection of “demonstrable social skills.” There are plenty of CPS critics who have attacked CPS mismanagement, for example the recent media reports and reports from the Better Government Association (“BGA”) about school lunch fraud and other mismanagement at CPS:

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/07/26/cps-moving-to-fire-principal-over-
    fraud-in-free-lunch-program/

    http://www.bettergov.org/2_investigators_bga_uncover_cps_free_lunch_fraud/

    So according to you, anyone that criticizes CPS is simply “lacking social skills.” That kind of brilliant logic is right up there with “I know you are, but what am I.”

    If we are going to talk about lack of demonstrable social skills, we can talk about your free use of the term racist and other insults, aimed at other posters on this website who commit the mortal sin of disagreeing with you. I would ask the webmaster to address you personally, and respond to your repeated instances of name calling and personal attacks (i.e., the very same “lack of demonstrable social skills” you are complaining about).

  8. Jeff says:

    David:

    How is my criticism of CPS management (or should I say “mis-management”) any reflection of “demonstrable social skills.” There are plenty of CPS critics who have attacked CPS mismanagement, for example the recent media reports and reports from the Better Government Association (“BGA”) about school lunch fraud and other mismanagement at CPS.

    So according to you, anyone that criticizes CPS is simply “lacking social skills.” That kind of brilliant logic is right up there with “I know you are, but what am I.”

    If we are going to talk about lack of demonstrable social skills, we can talk about your free use of the term racist and other insults, aimed at other posters on this website who commit the mortal sin of disagreeing with you. I would ask the webmaster to address you personally, and respond to your repeated instances of name calling and personal attacks (i.e., the very same “lack of demonstrable social skills” you are complaining about).

  9. David says:

    @ Jeff. If the shoe fits…. the language that a number of posters use along with the very clear whistle speak/code words speaks very clearly of the racist attitudes of the posters. I am not the only one who has been made uncomfortable about it. The difference is that a number of people have essentially dismissed this blog as a home for disgruntled racists.

    As for your CPS comments, there are lots of real reasons to question decisions by the CPS. But instead of focusing on the real issues, you go to the whistle speak issues of Birth control and school lunch vouchers and to the not real issues of phony test scores and attendance records. The real problem is abandoning the schools in the inner cities and then imposing tests and the like which don’t actually test learning, but test the degree to which the testee has a socialization which agrees with the White Middle Class socialization.

    Go crawl back under your rock…
    or better still go play in traffic.

  10. Jeff says:

    David:

    Let me get this straight:

    (1) You have the super-human ablity to detect so-called “whistle and code” words that let you tell who is a racist, with 100% accuracy?

    (2) theexpiredmer.com is a a crypto-racist website (which you regularly visit nonetheless)?

    (3) criticizing school policy on birth control (a policy that many parents of CPS students disagree with), and calling out CPS for not shutting down school lunch fraud (which fraud mainly harms the minority students who benefit from these programs) equals racism?

    (4) school standardized testing is racial profiling?

    (5) anyone who dares to disagree with you should (as you so cleverly put it) “go crawl back under a rock” or “go play in traffic”?

    David, what color is the sky in your world??

    Criticizing CPS managment and priorities

  11. Jeff says:

    David:

    Let me get this straight:

    (1) You have the super-human ablity to detect so-called “whistle and code” words that let you tell who is a racist, with 100% accuracy?

    (2) theexpiredmer.com is a a crypto-racist website (which you regularly visit nonetheless)?

    (3) criticizing school policy on birth control (a policy that many parents of CPS students disagree with), and calling out CPS for not shutting down school lunch fraud (which fraud mainly harms the minority students who benefit from these programs) equals racism?

    (4) school standardized testing is racial profiling?

    (5) anyone who dares to disagree with you should (as you so cleverly put it) “go crawl back under a rock” or “go play in traffic”?

    David, what color is the sky in your world??

  12. B says:

    David, I have first hand experience living in and close to everything from the poorest neighborhoods in the city to the richest suburbs. I’ve also biked and walked them as well as driven them. Thus I have a pretty good feel for the relative differences when it comes to drivers. There is nothing racist about it. In sum total I would be most critical of the drivers found in the northwest suburbs than the southside and south suburban ones, but when it comes to speeding down a residential street at 2X the 20mph speed limit, there’s no question where I find it more prevalent. almost all such instances in the NW suburbs involve some driver racing me to a stop sign when I am bicycling. It is -very- rare when I am driving or walking. Other places I see it more frequently regardless. It doesn’t require some driver needing to feel superior.

    If it is racism and classism you have an issue with, you should take it up with government bodies that most often aim their revenue schemes at those they can most easily bully. The idea that suburban drivers are using short cuts through the poorer neighborhoods is absurd. The only ones who would try that are those very familiar with said areas. That’s what makes them viable alternative routes, the lack of people willing to use them. When I see this it tells me that an excuse is being constructed for why they put so many these cameras in the poorer neighborhoods.

  13. Pete says:

    David, take your politically correct race-baiting and shove it up your ass. Nobody brought race into this discussion except you.

  14. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Lee,

    Just to be clear, I’m not oversimplifying anything.

    My post is a summary or rehash of the Tribune story. I only relayed the statistics the Tribune reported which was based on IDOT information.

    I would agree, failure to yield can be caused by speeding. However, failure to yield could also simply mean failure to yield. My guess is there is no way to prove excessive speed was involved in any of these crashes classified as failure to yield.

    While everything you say about speed and severity of a crash injury is true, one cannot jump to the conclusion that speeding is the cause of ALL or most of our city’s traffic safety problems.

    As a driver, I see dimwit pedestrians every day. Idiots texting or listening to their iPod while crossing against the light. Morons who cross busy streets mid-block without looking. Nitwits who dress in dark clothes while doing all of the above at night.

    While drivers have the highest standard of responsibility on our streets, pedestrians must try not to be stupid and also bear some responsibility to pay attention.

  15. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Friends,

    Some thoughts.

    First, I appreciate all the comments.

    Second, while things are not super-heated yet, I’m feeling a little uncomfortable with, let’s say, the intensity of the rhetoric.

    In my (very humble) opinion, I’m not seeing any racism in any of the comments. At least not overtly. I am seeing some classicism perhaps ie: comments asserting lower intellects in poorer neighborhoods. In addition, I admit some comments are blunt or are roughly worded. I see why some would view this style of commentary as racism, but I’m not sure that’s necessarily fair.

    3-I’m going to go back to this truism. There are asshole and morons in all walks of life. Drivers who tailgate, speed or drive recklessly. Bikers who think they own the road and ignore traffic signals. Pedestrians who cross against the light, walk mid-block into traffic or don’t pay attention where they walking because they’re on the phone, texting or listening to music.

    In other words, I check the box marked ALL OF THE ABOVE.

    4-While I like spirited and even heated discussions, I ask everyone to be respectful and polite in your comments. My guess would be, all the people commenting here, despite holding disagreeing points of view, would get along swimmingly if we all ended up in a bar having a drink someplace.

    Again, I SINCERELY appreciate everyone’s thoughts.

  16. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Jeff,

    Not sure I would put it exactly the way you did, but the idea of teaching traffic/pedestrian safety in schools is a great idea. They don’t teach it at the northside school my two kids attend.

    Perhaps, some of the millions of dollars generated by the speed cams can be allocated to a CPS program teaching this. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  17. Jeff says:

    Geek:

    I second that emotion. Civil disagreement is a good thing, as it allows the better idea or argument to prevail. But when name calling and personal attacks are injected into the process, the whole purpose of civil disagreement is lost.

    If you are offering to buy a round of drinks for posters, let us know when and where. And if so, I would suggest that your bring your high limit card, as your fans are legion.

    Lastly, from my own experience with school safety instruction (or lack thereof), I drive by Lakeview High School on Irving Park Road every weekday morning. And every weekday morning I see high school kids jaywalking across four lanes of traffic (not in the crosswalk), crossing the street against the red light, etc. If these kids ever got a safety course in school, it sure didn’t stick with them.

    Jeff

  18. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Jeff,

    I’ve been contemplating the idea of a get together. I’m not confident anyone would actually show up–even with free drinks.

    But, I’m going to look into the possibility of doing an event. Maybe figure out a way to get some corporate sponsors to pony up some free stuff and/or pay for some free drinks.

    If anyone has any thoughts on this, I would appreciate it.

    BTW: I often go by Lakeview HS in the morning as my kids attend school east of there and we live right off Irving Park west of Kimball. I don’t see a tremendous amount of jaywalking near Lakeview in the morning–it seems more prevalent in the afternoon when classes are getting out.

  19. Jeff says:

    Geek:

    I go right past Lakeview High in the morning right at the time classes seem to be starting. Maybe that’s why I see more jaywalkers/red light runners, texting street crossers than might be there at other times of the morning. These are (in general) good kids, some of whom just don’t seem to appreciate the danger of such behavior.

    If you are going to try for corporate sponsorship for an event, be sure and ask the spoonsor to create a fun givaeway item for the event. Maybe a “Parking Ticket Geek Action Figure,” with a built-in radar detector??

    Jeff

  20. Mike 2 says:

    “Savage goes on to postulate suburban drivers looking to save time traveling into the city, speed through less affluent neighborhoods which, by their very nature, have less congested streets.”

    I come from a lily white / asian, middle to upper income suburb. Never in my life have I heard of anyone from my area taking shortcuts thru ‘less affluent neighborhoods’ to save time. Myself, friends, family, and neighbors are scared to death of these neighborhoods and would never try to cut thru a random side street to save 2 minutes. This professor is theorizing at best and making this up at worst to try to give reason as to why the city needs these speed cameras. If children in these neighborhoods are being hit by drivers more often, its because their own neighbors are driving like idiots.

  21. barnet says:

    On the subject of student safet, I have two questions;
    What’s the numerical comparison between school kids being hit by cars compared to bullets?
    Why doesn’t CPS teach pedestrian safety in school. I sent a letter to CPS last asking for course description of a student pedestrian safety program. Response: they had nothing.
    If the city’s goal is student safety why don’t they teach it? That’s there first responsibility!

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