April 7, 2012

Illinois Traffic Fatalities on the Decline

by Levin & Perconti

Rockford Register Star Online recently released a news report detailing new traffic statistics that have been published revealing the decrease in fatalities on Illinois Roadways. Through information provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Information, our accident lawyers in Chicago learned that traffic fatalities in the state of Illinois have declined 26 percent from 2006 to 2010. These statistics also report a 21 percent decline in fatalities pertaining to speeding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were approximately 927 traffic fatalities in 2010 – a noticeable decrease from the 1,254 deaths in 2006. Traffic Safety Coalition, a non-profit group, released a statement emphasizing that Illinois roads have become safer due to increased seatbelt use, better air bag technology, as well as, the installation of red light cameras.

Nationwide data reports that red light cameras have continued to show positive change in driver behavior and aids in deterring drivers from breaking traffic laws. Our Chicago accident lawyers learned that in February, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed into legislation a law that permits the city of Chicago to use speed cameras to monitor drivers around parks and schools. The article reveals that this particular piece of legislation may ultimately extend to other cities in Illinois.

A 2007 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration addressed how these traffic tools operate, in addition to, further highlighting the benefits of speed cameras and red light camera programs worldwide. It is revealed that red light cameras are implemented to photograph vehicles entering intersections after traffic control signals have turned red. Detections of a traffic offense (such as running a red light) is made by sensors that have been installed into the roadway’s pavement and connected to a timing system.

If a vehicle enters the intersection illegally, a photograph of said vehicle and their license plate number is taken. The information is than reviewed by the program’s jurisdiction. Often as a result, a driver found in violation will receive a violation by the jurisdiction. Through these types of programs, the reported crash reductions have ranged between 9 and 51 percent. A Chicago truck accident attorney at our firm learned that a majority of these studies have typically found a decrease in right-angle motor vehicle accidents and an increase in rear-end collisions. However, the severity of the right-angle crashes outweighs that of rear-ended accidents.