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Category Archives: Traffic Safety

Evanston Alderman Proposes Licensing Bicycles

Share the Road License Plate

Misbehaving bicycle riders have raised the ire of one Evanston lawmaker.

According to Evanston Now
, Alderman Delores Holmes believes bike riders should have license tags similar to license plates motor vehicles must display.

She feels there’s no way to hold bikers responsible for breaking the law unless there is a way to identify and track them if they ride on a sidewalk or blow through a stop light or stop sign, for example.

Another alderman, an avid bike rider, says other bikers would be “outraged” at the idea and he plans on opposing Holmes’ proposal.

Chicago Alderman Leslie Hairston floated a similar idea for a bike tax several months ago, but was shot down by an outpouring loud detractors.

Read the full story from Evanston Now, “Alderman wants mandatory licensing for bikes.”

Thanks to Mo Torrist for the tip on the story.

Residents Angered By Bike Lane Proposal For Milwaukee Avenue

Milwaukee Avenue bike lanes graphic

A graphic shows one proposal which would dramatically reduce the number of parking spaces along Milwaukee Avenue. Photo credit: Heather Cherone/DNA Info.

Residents of Jefferson Park and Gladstone Park do not want protected bike lanes in their neighborhood.

Several hundred angry residents showed up at a meeting on Wednesday to hear a presentation that includes two plans which would reduce traffic on a two-mile stretch of Milwaukee Avenue between Elston and Lawrence from four lanes to just two and add protected bike lanes according to DNA Info.

“Nobody wants this,” said one vocal resident. “It is being rammed down our throats.”

“We hate it,” said another.

Drivers Face Heightened Enforcement For 4th of July Holiday

american-flag-2aDrive safely this weekend motorists–law enforcement will be out in force this 4th of July holiday weekend.

The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police announced heightened enforcement through Sunday, July 6th with over 320 local law enforcement agencies joining state troopers in targeting drunk drivers and those not wearing seatbelts.

“The upcoming Fourth of July holiday means law enforcement statewide will be out on the roads enforcing laws to avoid tragic outcomes. To boost safety around the holiday weekend, the Illinois State Police enforcement efforts will focus on the Fatal Four – Speeding, Seatbelts, Distracted Driving and DUI,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau.

Truck Driver Takes Illinois State Trooper To Task For Unsafe Driving

A truck driver recently captured video of getting pulled over by an Illinois State Trooper for honking his horn at the law enforcement officer.

The truck driver takes the trooper to task explaining he honked because the trooper was speeding on a wet road while talking on a cell phone up to his ear.

The trooper, his feelings hurt, says he’s going to ticket him for “improper use of a horn.”

Illinois Traffic Fatalities Down Due To 70 MPH Speed Limit?

70 MPH signThe good news is traffic fatalities on Illinois roads are down according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

In fact, there have been only 341 fatalities so far this year compared to this time last year–74 less.

The first half of this year is coincidentally the first six months the speed limit has been raised in some places from 65 to 70 mph.

A reporter for Springfield’s NPR radio station WUIS tries to link these two facts, implying the higher speed limit is helping reduce fatalities. Critics of the higher speed limit claimed it would increase traffic deaths.

Law Enforcement Gears Up For Memorial Day Holiday Weekend

Click It or TicketIllinois motorists planning to travel this Memorial Day holiday weekend are being urged to buckle up or risk being ticketed in a surge in seat belt enforcement.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, State Troopers, along with local law enforcement units across the state will be operating hundreds of seat belt enforcement zones and other enforcement patrols looking for seat belt law violators and drunk drivers.

This enforcement push is part of a Click It or Ticket campaign that began May 9th and goes through Memorial Day this Monday.

IDOT Secretary Schneider “‘On The Move’ Recaps Winter Driving

Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider recaps one of the most driving challenged winters in Illinois history and thanks motorists for their patience with IDOT’s snow removal crews.

Study: 1 In 5 Chicago Drivers Ignore Handheld Cell Phone Ban

Using a hand-held cell phone will driving is now banned on all Illinois roads.

Using a hand-held cell phone will driving is now banned on all Illinois roads.

According to an Illinois Department of Transportation study, about one in five Chicago drivers flaunt the city’s nine-year old ban on using a handheld cell phone while driving.

The Chicago Tribune recently reported on the study, which observed over 33,000 drivers on streets, roads and highways all across the state.

While only a relatively small number of towns in Illinois (about 80) had handheld cell phone driving bans on the books, a statewide ban went into effect on January 1st. The study was done in November in advance of the new law in order to track the effectiveness of this traffic safety legislation.

Drivers can still use a mobile phone while driving a vehicle, however they must use some sort of hands free technology like a Bluetooth headset or the speakerphone functionality of the device.

Maybe not surprisingly, Chicago drivers were the worst offenders with 18% of all observed drivers using a mobile phone pressed against their ear or near their face while behind the wheel–despite living in a city with one of the first municipal bans in Illinois. Only 12% of motorists outside the state were seen using a handheld mobile phone while driving.

IDOT Says Illinois Road Conditions Improving Statewide

IDOT logoThe Illinois Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that road conditions
are improving across the state and all state maintained roadways are open.

Interstates I-57, I-74 and I-72 had been closed down the past few days due to heavy snows, high winds that caused drifting snow and white out conditions and below zero temperatures that iced up road surfaces making overall driving conditions extremely dangerous.

According to state officials, due to the approximately 375 passenger vehicles were stranded along I-57 on Monday along with six semi-trailers.

New Driving Laws For 2014: What Illinois Motorists Need To Know

Cellphone drivingWith the start of every new year, new laws go into effect that will have an impact on Illinois and Chicago drivers.

Of course, 2014 is no exception. In fact, there are many significant legal changes for drivers this year. Here’s a short rundown.

Statewide Cellphone Driving Ban

While drivers in Chicago and a handful of other towns cannot use a handheld cellphone while operating a vehicle, a law passed by the Illinois General Assmebly makes this behavior illegal on all roadways statewide starting January 1st.

So, no matter where you drive in the state of Illinois, you must use a hands free headset, speaker phone or other hands free device when using a cell phone while driving.

No More Free Metered Parking For Most Disabled Drivers