According to an online news report by Suntimes.com, two vehicles were involved in a fatal accident at 95th Street and LaGrange Road near Hickory Hills, Illinois this past weekend. One of our Chicago wrongful death lawyers read that a 51-year-old Crystal Lake woman was driving east on 95th street and had the green light when she entered the intersection. Her SUV was then hit by a pickup truck traveling south on LaGrange road. The 25-year-old Orland Park man ran a red light at the intersection and T-boned the woman’s car. A Cook Country sheriff’s police spokeswoman stated that preliminary investigations indicate the man may have been driving up to 70 miles per hour. The spokeswoman also said the man had made statements that he had been out drinking in Chicago since the evening before.
The woman, a dedicated wife and mother of three, had been traveling to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where she worked as a part time registered nurse when the accident took place. She was taken to Palos Community Hospital shortly after the accident and was later pronounced dead. The Orland Park driver, who was treated at the same hospital for minor injuries, is now in police custody and is being charged for driving under the influence. There were no other passengers in either vehicle, and no other vehicles were involved in the accident.
As our attorneys reading the above report noted, accidents caused by failing to obey traffic signals can be fatal. However, as of recently, legislation has been passed and signed into law authorizing the use of traffic safety cameras throughout the state of Illinois to decrease the number of these accidents. Specifically, local police departments are using red light cameras to hold drivers accountable for driving through red lights. As recently as February 2012, legislation was also passed to authorize the use of speed cameras in Chicago school and park zones. Governor Pat Quinn outlined his support for these cameras, stating “Reducing speed around schools and parks where children are present is a good policy for Illinois, and I’ve signed the legislation because I think it does have an impact on safety.”
Allowing traffic safety cameras on roadways has definitely had an impact on safety for drivers. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that in 2010, there were 927 fatalities on Illinois roads after authorizing the use of traffic safety cameras, down from 1,254 in 2006. The addition of intersection safety cameras in Chicago led to a 32% reduction in fatal red light running accidents. The addition of the same cameras in Naperville led to a 65% reduction in red light violations and a 27% reduction in injury crashes at just one intersection. There was also a 35% reduction of red light violations in Westmont. Data across the state shows that the increased use of traffic safety cameras continues to change driver behavior, deter drivers from breaking the law, reduce serious car accidents, and most importantly, save lives.
While traffic safety cameras have gained much support in Illinois, based on the above report, accidents do continue to happen as a result of careless or negligent motorists. Our law firm is willing to assist you if you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries, medical expenses, or property damage as a result of a car accident. To find out if legal recourse may be available to you, contact us for more information.