Pedestrians across Illinois received some good news in May when the Illinois General Assembly passed a bill that will help to ensure safer streets across the state. The bill, House Bill 43, will require motorists to stop at all pedestrian crosswalks, regardless of whether or not there are traffic signals present at the crosswalk.
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, every year an average of 170 pedestrians are hit and killed by Illinois motorists. In addition, approximately 6,000 accidents involving pedestrians are reported to authorities. The vast majority of pedestrian fatalities occur in crosswalks and over 30% of these accidents involve children. The bill, which is awaiting Governor Quinn’s signature, will hopefully help to reduce these accidents and fatalities, ensuring safer streets for all generations in Illinois.
The bill imposes hefty fines on motorists who fail to stop at crosswalks and yield to pedestrians. The bill would impose a $150 minimum fine to motorists for the first violation, with the fine doubling for second offenses. The bill also includes an additional $50 fine when the law is broken in a school zone. Currently, approximately 20% of all pedestrian crashes occur within 800 feet of a school.
Current Illinois law requires cars to yield, but not stop, for pedestrians in crosswalks. The Pedestrian Safety Bill (HB43) amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to require drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.
With the summer months upon us and more families taking to the outdoors, pedestrian safety is critical. This new legislation will help to ensure that individuals of all ages stay safe on the streets while promoting more livable communities across Illinois.
For more information about the bill, you can visit the Illinois Department of Transportation website.
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