In the September 13 blog post, titled “Pedestrian Safety In Chicago – Report Findings,” various statistics and report findings were highlighted regarding Chicago pedestrian accidents and pedestrian safety for the years 2005-2009.
The City of Chicago has implemented a unique initiative to emphasize the need for drivers to be aware of pedestrians. As seen in a October 25 Chicago Tribune story titled “Mannequins stand up for safety along Wacker Drive” :
Mannequins representing dead pedestrians were placed along Wacker Drive downtown on Tuesday to focus public attention on fatal crashes in Chicago involving vehicles and people on foot, officials said.
The move to shock drivers into being on the lookout and yielding to pedestrians is part of a new large-scale safety effort aimed at reducing injuries and fatalities citywide, officials said.
The campaign kicked off with the installation of 32 mannequins along Wacker Drive from Michigan Avenue to Wells Street, representing 32 pedestrians killed in 2010 crashes.
In addition to the mannequins, other high-profile elements of the campaign will include messages on bus shelters, trash bins and information panels posted on sidewalks; and outreach to taxi drivers, schools and senior citizen centers.
About 80 percent of vehicle-pedestrian crashes in Chicago occur at intersections and commonly involve people crossing the street with the walk signal, according to a new city study released this summer. The No. 1 cause of the accidents was drivers failing to yield, the analysis found.
CDOT and the police department will continue crosswalk-enforcement initiatives, aimed at getting more drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks. Such stings involve plainclothes police officers posing as pedestrians crossing streets in crosswalks as vehicles approach intersections. Drivers who fail to stop are ticketed. A new state law requires drivers to stop, not simply yield, for pedestrians.
Almost 3,000 crashes involving pedestrians occurred in Chicago last year.
Between 2005 and 2009, 17,487 crashes involving 18,376 pedestrians took place in the city. Pedestrian fatalities in Chicago hit a 16-year low in 2009 with 34 deaths, down from 88 deaths in 1994, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
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