Tag Archives: traffic safety

Group: Drivers Not Stopping For Pedestrians At Crosswalks

A sign in Evanston reminds drivers to stop when pedestrians are present.

A sign in Evanston reminds drivers to stop when pedestrians are present.

Despite a state law that’s been on the books for four years, most Chicago drivers are not stopping at crosswalks when pedestrians are crossing street according to the Active Transportation Alliance.

The group conducted a recent survey that it says shows only 18% of motorists stop to allow a pedestrian within a marked crosswalk to walk across the street. The survey claims that percentage drops dramatically at unmarked crosswalks plunging to just 5% of the time. The law requires vehicles to stop for pedestrians crossing the street within a crosswalk whether marked or not.

“Many people are unaware of the law and believe that cars only have to stop for pedestrians when there is a ‘stop for pedestrians’ sign at the crosswalk, and these signs led to much higher compliance in our survey,” said Burke. “But we aren’t going to get ‘must stop’ signs at every crosswalk, so it’s important that the public learn about this law.”

The survey conducted by Active Trans was made up of 208 attempts to cross the street at 52 locations within the city and nearby suburban towns.

The group’s research found that drivers complied with the law at painted crosswalks with enhanced safety features like “Stop For Pedestrian” signs, brick, stone or raised crosswalks or even flashing lights.

Active Trans says 90 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the metro Chicago area in 2012.

“Stepping into a crosswalk in Chicago is an invitation to be run over,” said Bob Gallo, state director of AARP Illinois which worked with Active Trans in 2009 to pass the Must Stop for Pedestrians Law. “Unfortunately, this is especially true for older residents who are more likely to be injured or killed than pedestrians of all other ages.”

In their effort to have more motorists complying with the law and stopping at crosswalks, the group is pushing statewide education programs akin to the “Click it or Ticket” campaign using billboards, public service announcements and ads to get the word out.

In addition, Active Trans wants more enforcement similar to what the Chicago Police Department does from time to time in their crosswalk enforcement initiatives where they ticket drivers who don’t stop for pedestrians.

Burke admits that most drivers are just ignorant of the law and believes most motorists would obey it if they were aware the law existed. He thinks as more drivers start stopping for pedestrians, things will eventually reach a critical mass where drivers will almost always stop at crosswalks.

“Driving behavior is contagious,” said Burke from Active Trans. “Once a significant percentage of motorists begin to stop for pedestrians, you’ll see it catch on and become the norm like it is in other states.”

Fatal Crash Near School Has Residents Asking For Speed Camera

A memorial for Jose Medina sits in front of Goethe Elementary School. Photo credit: Darryl Holiday/DNA Info.

A memorial for Jose Medina sits in front of Goethe Elementary School. Photo credit: Darryl Holiday/DNA Info.

61-year old Jose Medina was killed by a motorist near Goethe Elementary school in May.

Now residents working with Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) are using this incident to bring a speed camera to the side street adjacent to the school according to DNA Info.

The 20 people who met with a representative of the Chicago Department of Transportation discussed a battery of solutions including traffic bump outs, speed bumps and a speed camera on Rockwell the street where parents drop off and pickup their children each day.

Electric Traffic Signal Celebrates 100th Anniversary

An advertisement for an early two-color traffic signal.

An advertisement for an early two-color traffic signal.

Green means go. Red means stop.

That universal truth recognized by every motorist around the world celebrated its 100th birthday this week.

According to History.com, the very first traffic signal was installed at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland, Ohio August 5th, 1914.

While African-American inventor Garrett Morgan is generally credited with inventing the modern three position traffic signal, it was a design patented by James Hoge which was first used by Cleveland 100 years ago.

Hoge’s design had just two lights–green and red–no yellow. Hoge’s invention consisted of a red and green lights mounted on poles at each corner of the intersection. The lights were wired to a booth, which allowed a police officer to control the flow of traffic from inside.

National Stop On Red Week Starts Sunday, But Not In Chicago

Stop.On_.Red_.Week_.Web_.Button.2014Red means stop.

That’s the main message for motorists to remember during National Stop on Red Week which kicks off Sunday, August 3rd and runs through Saturday, August 9th.

The annual event spends the first week in August every year reminding drivers of the importance of stopping at traffic lights when the light is red and the dangers in ignoring red lights.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over 8.700 people were killed in the last decade in intersection-related accidents and according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) red light running is one of the leading causes of urban crashes.

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.”

New LED Traffic Signals Obscured By Snow Buildup Across City

Drivers all over Chicagoland were experiencing snow covered traffic signals after the early morning snowstorm Wednesday according to CBS 2 News.

It turns out 2,200 of the city’s 3,100 traffic signals have been changed to energy efficient LED lights. The downside to this energy savings is that the when a blowing snowstorm hits the city, the snow can build up and obscure the traffic signals. The LED signals are so energy efficient they don’t emit enough heat to melt the snow and ice like traditional incandescent traffic lights do.

When this happens, obviously it’s a major traffic safety issue.

Video: Newton’s Laws Of Motion Vs. Red Light Cameras

Brian Ceccarelli and Dr. Joseph Shovlin are physicists.

But, these two scientists may hold one of the keys to undermining the red light camera industry.

Motorist Groups Debut New Anti-Red Light Camera Video

The National Motorists Association or NMA debuted a new video early this week taking aim against red light camera enforcement.

The video makes the 30-second case that red light camera enforcement doesn’t improve safety in towns where they’re deployed, but do certainly generate revenue.

The NMA’s Gary Biller said the inspiration for the video came from a member.

Cameras Catch Amazing Expressway Pileup Outside Milwaukee


Raw: 30 Car Pileup in Milwaukee by associatedpress

Listening to a Milwaukee talk radio station, we heard about this amazing multi-car pileup that happened outside Milwaukee during Sunday’s snowstorm.

Wisconsin DOT cameras caught the action on Highway 41 & 45.

Even more amazingly, no one died although three other people died in storm related accidents in the area Sunday.

Here’s more photos and story at WTMJ Radio, “Video captures Highway 41/45 pileup as it happens.”

Speed Cams Issue 2,700 Violations In First Weeks Of Ticketing

A speed camera near Douglas Park watches for speeders on Roosevelt Road.

In the first few weeks of active ticketing, a handful of Chicago’s speed cameras have issued a total of 2,700 speeding violations according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

Nine cameras near four city parks (Gompers, McKinley, Garfield, and Marquette) began issuing speed camera tickets with monetary fines between $35 and $100 between October 16th and October 22nd.

According to CDOT, speeding events have dropped by nearly two-thirds between the first of warnings and the third week in ticketing.

After the cameras were first installed back in late August and early September, warnings were issued for a period of 30 days. CDOT says each camera issued an average 507 warnings per day in the first week of operation. But by the third week of issuing tickets, violations for exceeding the speed limit by 10 mph or more had dropped to just 175 per day.