Chicago Department of Transportation proposed plans to increase pedestrian safety according to a Chicago Sun-Times article. Among the proposed changes include a reduction of the residential speed limit to 20 mph and walk signals could be 3 seconds longer. The stated goal of the Chicago Department of Transportation is to eliminate all pedestrian, bicycle and overall traffic crash fatalities within 10 years. Chicago also plans to install 300 countdown pedestrian signals at intersections this year and 100 more in 2013 in a further effort to increase pedestrian safety. The City also plans to increase the time given to pedestrians to cross by 3 seconds at 100 intersections.
These changes would be important given that 80 percent of vehicle-pedestrian accidents occur at or near intersections and commonly involve people crossing with the walk signal. The personal injury law firm of Zneimer & Zneimer are currently handling many cases for pedestrians injured by drivers who failed to yield to the pedestrian in the crosswalk as the law required. However, the most common cause of injuries seem to be caused by drivers making right turns on red lights and not looking for pedestrians. The Chicago law firm of Zneimer & Zneimer has recently settled a case in which the motorist who was making a right turn on red was looking left the whole time to see if cars were coming and never looked right until after she struck our client who was in the crosswalk and was crossing with the walk signal when he was hit. An easy and cheap way to make intersections safer for pedestrians would be to prohibit all right on red turns by motorists in Chicago.