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The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Chicago Police Department today launched the 2014 pedestrian safety campaign with the goal of increasing safety, reducing pedestrian and vehicle conflicts, and making Chicago a healthier, more livable city.
The campaign includes public service messages in CTA buses, on bus shelters and other street furniture across the city, with images reminding motorists to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Roughly 3,000 pedestrians are hit by motor vehicles in Chicago annually, resulting in an average of 30 deaths each year. CDOT’s goal is to reduce serious pedestrian injuries by 50 percent every five years and eliminate pedestrian fatalities within ten years.
“Even one life lost is too many, and we must take action to promote pedestrian safety in multiple ways,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. “Education, engineering and enforcement are critical components to ensure that pedestrians and motorists understand their role and responsibility in public safety.”
The campaign also includes the Chicago Police crosswalk awareness initiatives, which involve an undercover police officer posing as a pedestrian crossing at a crosswalk. If oncoming drivers don’t stop for the pedestrian—as required by law—the vehicle will be pulled over by a police spotter further down the street.
Motorists can face a $120 fine for failure to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Last year, the Police Department issued more than 1,200 citations for failure to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks as part of this campaign.
There are 60 crosswalk awareness initiatives planned throughout the city this year close to schools, senior housing facilities and retail areas. Most locations are near a recent pedestrian crash location. The crosswalk awareness initiative is funded through a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation.
CDOT continues to install numerous safety-related improvements throughout the city, including traffic-calming installations such as speed humps and curb bumpouts to slow vehicles, as well as pedestrian-countdown signals that tell pedestrians how much time they have to cross the street.
The Chicago Pedestrian Plan, presented by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in 2012, identifies infrastructure enhancements, policies and programs to increase safety, reduce pedestrian and vehicle conflicts. The plan identifies programs and policies to improve pedestrian safety through education, engineering and enforcement.
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