Photo: Division and Paulina - Wicker Park
In light of the fact that it's Halloween week and a lot of people will be out (including kids) here's a friendly reminder to all people driving in Illinois: It is not optional to stop at pedestrian crosswalks. It is an Illinois State Law.
If you're driving a car in Illinois, you should be familiar with this law. If you're not, here's what you need to know effective 2010:
Illinois drivers must come to a complete stop for pedestrians in all crosswalks.
Definition of “crosswalk”
There are several kinds of crosswalks.
• Signalized: These are crosswalks at stop signs and traffic signals.
• Unsignalized: These are crosswalks that don’t have a stop sign or traffic signal. They are also referred to as “mid-block crosswalks.”
• Marked: These are the crosswalks you can see. Painted lines on the road designate their location.
• Unmarked: Not all crosswalks are marked with paint. The law is filled with jargon (see below) but simply put, a crosswalk is present whenever a sidewalk leads into the street.
Illinois drivers must come to a complete stop for pedestrians in any of those crosswalks: marked, unmarked, signalized or unsignalized.
Legal Definition of a Crosswalk
Illinois defines crosswalks as “That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway measured from the curbs, and in the absence of a sidewalk on one side of the highway, that part of the highway included within the extension of the lateral line of the existing sidewalk to the side of the highway without the sidewalk” (625 ILCS 5/1-113 (a))
Penalties for violating this law vary by county and may include fines and court costs. Cook County penalties start at $50 and may include court costs.
You can take action if a car does not come to a complete stop while you are in a crosswalk. Call 911 and report them. If possible, record the license plate number and include that along with your location in your police report.
If you don't yield for a pedestrian in a cross walk, you're breaking Illinois State law. And you can be reported and fined. But is that really necessary?
Apparently, with the number of drivers failing to yield to pedestrians, it is.