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Chicago’s first protected bike lane on Kinzie St. increased ridership by 55 percent without increasing traffic congestion for cars.

Legislative Update

Senate passes texting ban, but fails to approve pedestrian safety legislation

We are disappointed that the Senate failed to pass HB 43, which would have protected Illinois pedestrians by requiring drivers to stop at marked and unmarked crosswalks when pedestrians are present. Current law is vague and difficult to enforce. It requires drivers to only yield. The vote today was 27 yes, 21 no, 7 not voting. 30 votes are need to pass a bill in the Senate.

Each year, more then 6,000 pedestrians are hit in Illinois, resulting in more than 1,000 serious injuries and 170 deaths, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. That means a person is killed every other day. A child pedestrian is killed every week.

We urge the Illinois legislature to revisit this important issue in the next legislative session and join other states, including Maryland and Washington, that have made their streets safer for walking by passing “must stop for pedestrians” legislation.

We applaud the Senate for passing HB 71, which bans drivers from text messaging. Distracted driving is a leading cause of crashes nationwide, and we urge the House to approve the bill.

Many thanks to all the Active Trans members who lobbied for HB 43 and HB 71. We never would have gotten this far without your help.