Mannequins around the City to Warn of Pedestrian Accidents in Chicago

City officials are stopping at nothing to help educate residents about the risks of pedestrian accidents in Chicago. Recently Chicago officials launched a new safety campaign, which includes a lot of dummies.

Officials lined Wacker Drive downtown from Wells Street to Michigan Avenue with more than 30 mannequins to represent the number of pedestrians who were killed on our city’s roadways in 2010.Officials are also pushing a bill to permit traffic cameras to catch speeding drivers, according to the Chicago Tribune. This campaign includes safety messages plastered on the city’s sidewalks, stickers inside taxicabs urging passengers to reports any driver with unsafe habits behind the wheel and flags for pedestrians to carry while crossing the street to help increase their visibility.

Our Chicago pedestrian accident attorneys understand how big of a problem pedestrian accidents in the city are. It is estimated that about 80 percent of car-pedestrian accidents in the city happen at intersections and most commonly involve pedestrians who use the walk signal. The top cause for these fatal accidents in our area is when drivers fail to yield. According to a recently released study from the city, taxi drivers were involved in nearly 30 percent of the city’s pedestrian accidents and nearly 35 percent of all pedestrian accidents in high-crash corridors downtown. Only about 2 percent of these accidents happened outside the central business district.

“You’ll notice that some of it is sort of hard-hitting, some of it may even be a little bit shocking,” said Chicago Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein.

The mannequins that stood along Wacker Drive wore shirts that read, “One of 32 pedestrians killed last year in Chicago.”

The city is coming on strong with a plan. Officials are looking to bring the number of fatal pedestrian accidents down to zero by 2020. If more than 30 pedestrian fatalities weren’t enough in 2010, there were approximately 3,000 pedestrians injured in traffic-related crashes across the city.

From 2005 to 2009, there were nearly 17,500 accidents that involved more than 18,350 pedestrians in Chicago. Chicago hit a 16-year low with 34 pedestrian deaths in 2009. That number was down from nearly 90 fatalities in 1994.

The new pedestrian safety campaign was made possible by nearly $550,000 in funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is being conducted by the city’s Police Department and the Department of Transportation.

In addition to the outdoor campaigning, the city also launched a new website

Pedestrian safety messages have also been place on trash bins, bus shelters and sidewalks around the city. Officials are also looking into ways to reach senior citizens, schools and taxi drivers.

Officers are going undercover to catch motorists who aren’t grasping the message. Local officers will be dressing up as civilians and will be patrolling popular intersections in search of drivers who don’t yield to pedestrians. Drivers who are busted will be ticketed and will receive a fine anywhere from $50 to $500. According to Illinois state law, vehicles must stop for pedestrians.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car-pedestrian accident in Chicago, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

Additional Resources:

Mannequins help kick off pedestrian safety blitz, by Jon Hilkevitch, Chicago Tribune
More Blog Entries:

July 22 Illinois hit-and-run pedestrian accidents result in charges in one case and a reward offer in another, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, October 14, 2011

82-Year-Old Driver Injures Two Pedestrians – Are Your Parent’s at Risk for a Car Accident in Chicago?, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 15, 2011

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