Drivers need to be particularly careful around schools and in neighborhoods where children are nearby. This almost goes without saying, but a recent report from NBC provides a lesson about the dangers in school zones, parks, playgrounds and other areas where children are likely to be present in large numbers, particularly when existing traffic control measures are inadequate.
As recently reported by NBC’s local Chicago affiliate, according to police reports in a busy intersection near the Austin and Cornelia streets in Chicago’s Portage Park neighborhood, a local boy lost control of his bicycle and hit a parked car. Witnesses to the event reported that the boy appeared to have been cut off by a car immediately before losing control of his bicycle. The boy was found lying on the road after colliding with the parked car. This was the third accident reported at or near that intersection in the last month and has led to calls from local residents for placement of a stop sign or some other traffic control measure to protect children on their way to and from school at the nearby Chicago Academy grade school.
The other two accidents were perhaps even more disturbing. In February 2016, two girls aged 7 and 14, were hit by a motorist who sped away after hitting the girls while they were walking to school at Chicago Academy without even stopping to check as to whether they were injured. In addition, several weeks after that incident, a motorist knocked over a crosswalk sign mere inches from where the two girls had been hit on their way to school at Chicago Academy.
Pay Special Attention When Driving In Places Where Children Are Likely To Be
School zones are a particular area to be cautious when driving, particularly at times when children are either being dismissed or are on their way to school. Often, there is a long line of cars being driven by parents, either waiting to pick up or drop off their children, and it is often unclear what other drivers’ intentions are; that is, whether they are simply staying in place and waiting for their children to come out or whether they intend to move when they see their child emerge from the school. In addition, children, particularly the younger ones, are apt to dart into an intersection unexpectedly when they spot a parent. Accordingly, make sure to always be vigilant if you are passing a school during the hours of dismissal or when students are arriving.
Also, make sure to always obey all posted street signs regarding speed limits or stop signs in school zones, as the fines for driving above the posted limit or blowing through a stop sign can be quite costly. Police officers or crossing guards are also more likely to be present in these locations, particularly around the times that students are walking to or from school as well as when they are being dropped off or picked up, increasing the chances of a driver being pulled over and cited for a driving infraction committed in such a location.
Contact Your City Officials If You Are Concerned About Safety At A Particular Intersection
One final lesson from the outbreak of incidents at the intersection near Chicago Academy is that contacting your local city officials can make a difference. In that instance, and as reported by NBC, the local Chicago city alderman’s office received numerous complaints about the unsafe driving practices occurring at the intersection, leading the office requesting an accelerated traffic study by the Chicago Department of Transportation. The Department expedited the request and has pledged to work with the alderman’s office to find potential solutions to the traffic issues at the intersection.
Contact a Lawyer
If you, your children or a family member have been hurt in an accident, particularly those caused by inadequate traffic control measures or careless drivers, contact a lawyer right away. Many personal injuries or wrongful death cases go to court involving accidents exactly like those discussed above, and you’ll want an experienced attorney by your side when negotiating with the driver and his or her insurance company.