SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) — Illinois state lawmakers are working on a plan this spring to address the concerning rise in traffic deaths.
The House and Senate sponsors filed their plan for a zero traffic fatalities task force in memory of two young children who were killed by drivers in their district.
Three-year-old Lily Shambrook was riding with her mother in Uptown on June 9. NBC Chicago reported that when the mother tried squeezing around a ComEd truck illegally parked in a bike lane and was hit by a passing semi. Chicago police reported that Lilly was thrown from a child carrier on the bike during the crash.
Two-year-old Rafi Cardenas was killed in Lincoln Square while riding a mini-scooter on June 2. Chicago Alderman Matt Martin told NBC Chicago that the city needed to pass an ordinance encouraging safer streets and intersections.
Sen. Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) told senators Friday that his bill would require the state’s Transportation Secretary to convene a task force by July 1, 2024. This task force would be made up of representatives from the Illinois State Police, Department of Transportation, Secretary of State’s office, bicycle safety organizations, and motorcycle safety groups among others.
Task force members will be responsible for analyzing existing practices for speed limits and how state policy could increase safety for drivers, pedestrians, and people on bikes.
“It’s directly responsive to the outcry that we’ve seen in our district and districts around the state because there have been a number of bicycling fatalities that have been reported on by the press in recent months and recent years,” Simmons said.
Simmons believes the plan is a step in the right direction and will help IDOT with their planning for bicycle infrastructure.
The zero traffic fatalities task force would be required to submit a final report to the General Assembly by January 1, 2025.
House Bill 2131 passed unanimously out of the Senate and now heads back to the House on concurrence. The plan is expected to quickly pass out of the House as representatives previously voted 109-1 in support of Rep. Hoan Huynh’s (D-Chicago) bill in March.
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May 5, 2023 at 06:26PM