pedestrian 081021SPRINGFIELD – To identify problem areas on state roads and allow residents to drive, bike and walk safely in their communities, a new law sponsored by State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) requires the Illinois Department of Transportation to look more closely into traffic accidents on state highways that result in the death of a pedestrian.

“Even one pedestrian fatality is too many,” Murphy said. “By working proactively to pinpoint areas of concern and make immediate improvements, we can make our roads safer and prevent injury and death.”

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.

“Sometimes, preventing pedestrian loss is as simple as installing a stop sign,” Murphy said. “This law ensures the state responds quickly to accidents to help avoid further tragedy.”

The law, originally Senate Bill 1791, was signed into law Friday and takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.