According to Governor Pat Quinn, the Illinois Safe Routes to School Program will be offering communities and schools districts nearly $22 million to help ensure safe routes to school for children who bike or walk to school. This program is federally funded and is used to help reduce the risks of bicycle and pedestrian accidents in Illinois.“These projects enhance roads, sidewalks, and other infrastructure within communities, which is important in keeping both drivers and pedestrians safe,” Governor Quinn said.
Our Chicago bicycling and pedestrian accident attorneys understand that the funding will be used to support nearly 230 projects aimed at repairing sidewalks as well as providing safety equipment to crossing guards and to police officers. Within the $22 million is nearly $2 million that will be dedicated to helping communities with educational materials, safety training and public service announcements used to encourage school-aged children to walk and bike to school. This allotted $2 million, officials believe, will help to make sure that the statewide program is consistent and that it produces favorable outcomes from safe-traveling projects.
According to Ann Schneider, the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Safe Routes to School grants will help to make our roadways even safer for all pedestrians and bicyclists in addition to educating the community about the importance of these forms of transportation. She also stresses the importance of walking and biking and leading an active lifestyle. This program and these federal funds will hopefully help to lower air pollution and fuel consumption, says Schneider.
Ron Burke, the Executive Director of Active Transportation, agrees with Schneider. He says that walking and biking to school is safer and easier then we’re all doing our part to keep our young generations healthy, active and safe.
The Illinois Safe Routes to School program is a part of a federal program conducted by the Federal Highway Administration that is used to facilitate activities and projects that will help to benefit community travel, including lowering fuel consumption, reducing traffic congestion and improving community safety.
Within the state’s program, projects are funded at 100 percent with no local match required. Roughly 70 percent of the overall funding is used to assist infrastructure projects while the remaining 30 percent is uses to support community-outreach programs.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 110 people who were killed in pedestrian accidents across the state of Illinois in 2009. Many of these accidents could have been prevented with safer driving habits and with more community awareness. This new grant money is helping to reduce these numbers in the New Year. Drivers are asked to remain cautious and aware of our young and vulnerable travelers along our roadways, especially before and after school. Safe driving habits can help to avoid fatal pedestrian and bicycling accidents.
If you or your child has been injured in a bicycle or a pedestrian accident in Chicago, the injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free consultations to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.
More Blog Entries:
NHTSA Pushing Backup Camera to Reduce Risks of Pedestrian Accidents in Illinois, Nation, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, November 29, 2011
Driver on Facebook blamed for fatal Chicago pedestrian accident, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, February 15, 2011