Did You Know?

Half of school children walked or biked to school in 1969, but only 13 percent were doing it in 2009.

New law requires CDOT to identify contributing factors in fatal crashes

The Chicago City Council recently adopted an ordinance outlining strengthened requirements for the city’s reporting on fatal crashes.  

Spearheaded by 50th Ward Alderperson Debra Silverstein, the Fatal Crash Legacy Ordinance will require a detailed investigation after a fatal crash to identify contributing factors.

The law requires Chicago Department of Transportation to develop a list of recommended safety improvements that can address any identified contributing factors. 

This means survivors and advocates will have access to more detailed information as well as actionable steps on how to address underlying unsafe conditions on our roadways.  

The ordinance also sets out requirements for citywide reporting on fatal crashes on both a monthly and annual basis. 

Active Transportation Alliance was honored to provide expert testimony in support of the ordinance at a hearing hosted by Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Committee Chairman Daniel La Spata. 

“This ordinance is very important to me,” said Silverstein. “It will give us the tools we need to identify dangerous streets and intersections and eliminate crash hotspots. It creates a data-driven approach to making our streets safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.”

Silverstein said the need for this ordinance came into focus a few years ago when a 9-year-old boy was killed on his bike in the 50th Ward.

“He was just trying to cross the street and his life was tragically cut short,” she said. “The outpouring of grief in my community made it clear that we need legislation that would make our streets safer.”

The passage of the ordinance marks another important win for the Safe Streets for All Coalition, which called for a fatal crash rapid response program as part of our 2023 municipal election platform, Safe Streets for All, Transit that Works. 

The Fatal Crash Legacy Ordinance will take effect at the end of this year. Active Trans will be working with our members and supporters to monitor how the law is implemented and ensure that the reporting and recommendations are meeting the spirit of the law and moving us towards safe streets for all. 


Photo: Active Transportation Alliance Campaign Organizer W. Robert Schultz, III in City Council chambers with 50th Ward Alderperson Debra Silverstein after the Fatal Crash Legacy Ordinance passed out of committee.