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AARP Urges Illinois Governor to Sign Safer Crosswalks Bill

  • Synopsis: Published: 2010-05-05 - HB 43 Would Make Sure Drivers Respect Pedestrians Right of Way. For further information pertaining to this article contact: AARP.

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HB 43 Would Make Sure Drivers Respect Pedestrians Right of Way...

Every year in Illinois, thousands of pedestrians are hit by cars, and over 150 of them lose their lives. Legislation passed by both houses of the Illinois General Assembly will ensure that even if traffic signs are not present at a crosswalk, vehicles will come to a full stop and yield when pedestrians are present. The legislation also includes hefty fines for violators. The measure is now awaiting the Governor's signature to become law.

House Bill 43 was sponsored by State Representative Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago). After passing the House in 2009, the bill cleared the Senate on April 29 by a large majority. AARP, on behalf of its 1.7 million Illinois members, urges the Governor to enact this critical public safety measure.

"For older adults, children and people of all ages, it's critical to have full access to safe streets. This includes having the entire right of way secured at every crosswalk, whether or not stop signs are present," said AARP Illinois Senior Manager for Advocacy, Nancy Nelson. "We commend Rep. Arroyo for his leadership on this issue, and the General Assembly for moving the legislation forward, and we urge Governor Quinn to sign it into law."

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, every year there is an average of 170 fatalities from pedestrians who are hit by cars in Illinois, and about 6,000 accidents of this kind reported to authorities.

The bill would impose a $150 minimum fine to motorists for the first violation of the law, with the penalty doubling for second offenses. It also includes a $50 additional fine when the law is broken in a school zone.

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