Tag Archives: traffic safety

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 ten people were killed and 856 injured in motor vehicle crashes over the New Year’s Eve holiday.

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

State Promises Stepped Up Enforcement For New Year’s Eve

illinoisstatepoliceDon’t drink and drive this New Year’s holiday.

That’s because law enforcement will be working overtime to catch driver’s who’ve over celebrated while ringing in the new year.

IDOT is working with the Illinois State Police and over 200 local law enforcement agencies with stepped up enforcement via additional roadside safety checks, seat belt enforcement zones and additional patrols.

IDOT officials say that fatalities have been on the rise in Illinois in 2015 and New Year’s Eve makes roads particularly more dangerous. Currently, the state has 999 fatalities (an 8.5% increase over 2014 statistics) on the books and will most likely surpass the 1,000 fatality threshold for the first time in years.

VIDEO: ATS Recaps 2015′s Worst Red Light Running Crashes

American Traffic Solutions presents a bitter tasting end to 2015 with their new video “2015′s Worst Red Light Runners,” which shows, of course, videos of some pretty horrible looking crashes caused by a driver running a red light.

While drivers should never run a red light, the implication from ATS, a major provider of automated traffic enforcement camera technology, is that red light cameras are solely about improving safety.

But if you look at the video, in every case the crash is not occurring just after the light changed to red. In all cases the red light has been on a few seconds before the red light running driver went through the light.

Were they drunk? Or on drugs? On their cell phone or sending a text message?

Sign A Gentle Reminder To Drive Safely

A sign in a Blue Island alley holds some good advice for drivers.

A sign in a Blue Island alley holds some good advice for drivers.

While somewhat lost,  (intentionally so) driving around suburban Blue Island two weekends ago, I turned down an alley to find my way back to the town’s main drag–Western Avenue.

As I plodded and bounced around, I came across a sign along a chain-link fence reading “Drive Like Your Kids Play Here.”

Impressed with the profound message, I hit the breaks and took a few photos.

A nice gentleman came out of the house and we spoke for a few moments about the problem of drivers speeding down alleys and the danger to kids who often play there.

IDOT Debuts Winter Weather Driving Tips Video

The Illinois Department of Transportation just released a video, just ahead of winter, to remind drivers on how best to deal with challenging seasonal road conditions.

Good tips and perhaps a reminder to all those motorists who completely forgot how to drive on snow and ice over the past few months.

Law Enforcement Cracking Down On Impaired Drivers Labor Day Weekend

Uh-OhDrive sober and wear your seat belt–or get pulled over.

That’s the message The Illinois Department of Transportation and the Illinois State Police is trying to communicate to drivers this Labor Day Holiday.

This weekend marks the end of a two-week crackdown on impaired driving.

IDOT and State Police say state patrols and local police and sheriffs departments will be out in force through early Tuesday morning looking for impaired motorists and drivers and passengers not wearing safety belts.

Seatbelt Usage Reaches 95% On Illinois Roads

SeatbeltThe Illinois Department of Transportation announced this week that safety belt usage for drivers and front seat passengers has reached an all-time high of 95.2% on Illinois roads.

IDOT says it’s a 1.1% increase over last year when Illinois’ 94.1% gave the state the 7th highest seatbelt usage rate in the U.S. according to the National Highway Safety Administration. This year’s numbers should improve Illinois ranking.

“More and more Illinois drivers are getting the message that something as simple as buckling up every time you get into a vehicle saves lives,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Blankenhorn. “This is great news and an encouraging trend, but we still have more work to do. To get the usage rate even higher and save even more lives on Illinois roadways, we will look to strengthen our partnerships with law enforcement on safety campaigns and continue searching for creative new ways to get out the message on the importance of using your seat belt.”

Tribune Links Speed Camera Data To Short Yellow Light Times

red_light_cameraSpeed data used in selecting city speed camera locations seem to show Chicago’s traffic signals have yellow light times that are too short according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Tribune acquired studies conducted with radar guns to survey the speed of vehicles at 168 locations around the city. The data showed that in the vast majority of locations drivers were travelling an average of 5 mph over the posted 30 mph limit.

The newspaper took this data to traffic safety engineers and experts and asked them, based on this data, are Chicago’s 3 second yellow light times set too short?

According to the people the Trib spoke too the answer is an overwhelming–YES.

Road Rage Incident Ruins Pleasant Saturday Morning

road-rage-no-one-wins

It started with a honking horn.

Stopped at the stop sign on a one-way street at Irving Park Road Saturday morning, the impatient female driver behind me was in a hurry to get somewhere.

Unfortunately, Saturday morning traffic was brisk in both directions, so she was going to have to wait until there was a break in traffic before I was going to try to cross the busy four lane street. Perhaps she felt I should be a jerk and pull onto the street and block a lane or two of oncoming traffic while waiting for the other side of the street to be clear enough to cross. But that wasn’t going to happen.

Finally, after a few minutes there was a break in the traffic and I began pulling across Irving.

But my impatient friend behind me also saw the opening and instead of waiting for me, the driver with the right of way, to go first, she lurched into the left lane and accelerated along side me. And then instead of turning left or going straight, the driver turned right in front of our vehicle, cutting us off in her hurry to get around my car.

Unfortunately, our vehicles lightly scraped.

Damn. My son and I were going to be late to his music class.

Wrong Way Crashes Claim 50 Lives In Illinois Since 2005

50 killed and 300 injured in 198 crashes.

That’s the numbers for wrong-way crashes in Illinois between 2005-2012 according to a report by NBC 5.

Not surprisingly, most of these wrong-way crashes involve intoxicated motorists driving home during early morning hours. The vast majority of these crashes occur on expressways within the Chicago metro area.