Monthly Archives: December 2014

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.

Last year the Illinois Department of Transportation says seven people were killed and 263 injured in motor vehicle crashes over the New Year’s Eve holiday.

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

Anti-Camera Candidate Announces ‘Money Bomb’ Fundraiser

Scott Davis Takes Pledge To ‘Ban The Cams’ If Elected Alderman

Scott Davis hands out anti-red light camera fliers to interested drivers at a summer protest.

Aldermanic candidate Scott Davis hands out anti-red light camera fliers to interested drivers at a protest in the 44th ward this summer.

Scott Davis, candidate for 44th ward alderman, is using Chicago’s red light cameras as a way to raise money for his election campaign.

Davis, who’s been a driving force here to eliminate the city’s speed camera and red light camera programs kicked off his “Ban The Cams Money Bomb” online fundraiser this past Monday.

For the past two years, Davis has organized anti-camera protests all over the city and has spent the last year as an activist Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras.

Car Stuck In A Snow Bank? Hire A Professional Shoveler

Paul Hook is promoting his car shoveling services with posters around the Ukranian Village neighborhood. Photo credit: Alisa Hauser/DNA Info.

Paul Hook is promoting his car shoveling services with posters around the Ukranian Village neighborhood. Photo credit: Alisa Hauser/DNA Info.

Car trapped under a blanket of snow?

You may want to “Book Hook.”

While Chicago has avoided any significant snowfall so far this year, one man, armed with a shovel is ready to aid Chicago drivers in digging out their cars when the snow finally arrives.

According to DNA Info, the 24-year old Hook is a waiter and an actor who came up with the idea during last year’s extra-challenging winter.

“Last year, when we had a bunch of snow I was in the shower and had a random idea to shovel snow off of cars,” Hook told DNA Info.

Gas Drops Below $2 Per Gallon At Some Suburban Stations

Chicago drivers are find they're paying the highest prices in the nation when they fill up their gas tanks.

Suburban drivers are seeing gas prices advertised for as little as $1.98 per gallon at a handful of gas stations.

Call it suburban sticker shock.

Suburban drivers are being treated to gas prices unseen in years–unleaded gas being sold for under $2 per gallon according to the Daily Herald.

Many gas stations outside the City of Chicago and mainly outside of Cook County where fuel taxes can add significant cost to a gallon of gas, are advertising regular unleaded gasoline for as low as $1.98 per gallon according to ChiagoGasPrices.com.

Parking Meters Welcome Pennies In One Small Illinois Town

Expired MeterDowntown Chicago, drivers pay $6.50 for the privilege of parking at a meter for an hour–it’s the highest rate in the U.S.

But just about 90 minutes directly west of Chicago is the quaint town of Sycamore–a town where downtown parkers can feed the meter for as little as one penny.

A penny gets you 12 minutes, a nickel gets you an hour or, if you really want to splurge, motorists can purchase two hours for a dime.

The Associated Press spotlights the small town where city leaders say they use the penny parking as a marketing tool to draw shoppers to a thriving downtown.

ACLU: Major Racial Disparities In Chicago Police Traffic Stops

Uh-OhA new report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois seems to show that during traffic stops by Chicago police, black drivers are pulled over and searched more frequently than white ones and minorities in general are targeted for searches more frequently than white drivers.

The report, based on data obtained from the Illinois Department of Transportation, reviews the 100,676 traffic stops made by cops in 2013, and shows African-American drivers made up just under half of all stops (46%). Yet blacks make up only 32% of Chicago’s total population.

By contrast while whites make up about 32% of city residents, white motorists were stopped 27% of the time. Hispanics, which are 28% of the population were pulled over 22% of the time.

The ACLU report contends racial disparity seems more pronounced in predominately white neighborhoods according to their analysis.

TV Commercial: Eat Taco Bell, Avoid Parking Tickets

Feed your parking meter or use your spare change to buy something taco-riffic from Taco Bell?

That’s the conundrum the fast food restaurant poses for viewers in a new TV commercial where a young man tries to order one of the chain’s new menu items and still get back to his car before the parking enforcement officer writes him a ticket for an expired meter.

IDOT: Crashes Tick Up 4% 2013, Highest Since 2008

CrashThe Chicago Tribune breaks down Illinois crash statistics for 2013 in a recent story and finds that vehicle crashes and fatalities were both up last year.

There were 991 crash related fatalities last year, 37 more than in 2012 or a 4% increase statewide.

Traffic experts are theorizing crashes are up because people are driving more. There’s also concern the low price of gas may increase average miles driven and thus increase crashes and traffic deaths in 2015.

There are some interesting takeaways the Tribune points out from the statistics.

Here’s the breakdown:

Merry Christmas Drivers: Chicago Gas Prices Hit Five Year Low

Gas-Pump-2Christmas has come early for the hundreds of thousands of drivers hitting the road for the holiday this week as gas station signs advertise prices at a five-year low.

According to two fuel price tracking services city gas prices have not been this low since October 2009 and may continue to drop.

ChicagoGasPrices.com, is showing an average price for regular unleaded gasoline at $2.52 per gallon throughout the greater Chicagoland area which includes both city and suburbs. That’s 55 cents per gallon lower than a month ago and a whopping 88 cents per gallon less than last Christmas.

While AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report shows the average pump prices for regular unleaded has dropped 16 cents in the past week within the city proper to $2.81 per gallon. It’s a 49 cent drop from just a month ago.

“High supply, low demand, low oil prices,” is how AAA’s Beth Mosher explains it. “Lower gas prices are filling stockings with a little more cash to spend on travel this year as travelers are expected to pay the lowest prices since 2009.”

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

Mayoral Candidates Call For End To City’s Red Light Cameras

Mayoral candidate Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) and Mark Wallace, director of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras speak at a press conference at City Hall Monday. Photo credit: Ted Cox/DNA Info.

Mayoral candidate Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) and Mark Wallace, director of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras speak at a press conference at City Hall Monday. Photo credit: Ted Cox/DNA Info.

In the wake of recent Chicago Tribune’s reporting on research showing a failure of Chicago’s red light cameras to improve traffic safety, two candidates for mayor have called for an end to the program.

The Tribune commissioned an academic study of crash data at Chicago red light camera locations which found that the city exaggerated the safety improvements from the cameras and while dangerous T-bone crashes did go down by 15%, rear-end crashes went up 22%–numbers which have caused the researchers to question if there is any traffic safety benefits from the program.

At City Hall Monday morning, Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras held a press conference to again call for an end to the program based on the Tribune report.

Mayoral candidate Ald. Bob Fioretti joined the group’s director Mark Wallace in condemning the camera program and said he would end the program by April 15th if he was elected mayor. He plans to introduce an ordinance to stop the program next month.