A new study that was commissioned by the Chicago Department of Transportation indicates that in the city of Chicago, approximately 80 percent of motor vehicle collisions involving pedestrians occur while a person is crossing the street at a crosswalk. In most cases, the victim was hit by a turning vehicle. The Chicago Tribune recently reported, that as a result of these new findings, city officials plan to implement more traffic safety technology to protect people crossing the street.
The city’s findings also indicate that the number of hit-and-runs in Chicago has increased over the time period between 2005 and 2009. Given these statistics, it’s important for Chicago pedestrians to remain alert while crossing the street, even when they have the right of way.
The state legislature has also made efforts to address this matter. A change to Illinois state law in 2010 requires drivers to come to a complete stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk. The previous law only required motorists to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. A driver can be ticketed up to $500 for violating the law. Proponents of the new law say that the change was necessary to clear up confusion in enforcement. Under the old rule, a driver could come to a rolling stop through a crosswalk where pedestrians were crossing. Now, motorists have to come to a complete stop when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk. The change is meant to make the rule easy to understand and easier to enforce than the previous standard. The best outcome would be that future accidents can be prevented.