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Senator Murphy

 

SPRINGFIELD – Following a series of pedestrian deaths in the community she represents, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) has advanced a plan to prevent further tragedy by requiring the Illinois Department of Transportation to look more closely into traffic accidents on state highways that result in the death of a pedestrian.

“The design of a roadway can play a large part in traffic accidents, with deadly consequences,” Murphy said. “By responding to these accidents with action, we can pinpoint those hazards and make a fix before more lives are lost.”

The legislation would require IDOT to conduct a traffic study after any fatal pedestrian accident at the intersection of a state highway. The study would include a rundown of potential methods to improve safety at the site, such as design improvements and traffic control devices. The results of each study would be publicly accessible via IDOT’s website.

Murphy was inspired to sponsor the legislation following a series of three fatal accidents in just two years on Miner Street, between Pearson Street and Graceland Avenue, in Des Plaines.

After four people were hospitalized following two separate accidents two hours apart at the location, police conducted a sting operation: Officers in plainclothes walked across the crosswalk and if drivers failed to yield, they were issued a citation. Within a six-hour period, 20 citations were issued.

“We all have a problem area in our neighborhood—an intersection or crosswalk that just doesn’t feel safe,” Murphy said. “It’s critical that we identify and remedy those dangers early to prevent avoidable losses.”

Senate Bill 1791 passed the Senate Wednesday and now heads to the House.

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