Every year, thousands of pedestrians are killed or seriously injured on our roadways. It’s a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

For instance, 554 people were killed and 9,480 seriously injured in Chicago traffic crashes from 2010-2014.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation in just those four years death and serious injuries from these crashes increased 8 percent.

This is why AARP Illinois has joined with City of Chicago officials and advocates to support Vision Zero, a nationwide campaign that aims to eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries. The Chicago Department on Transportation recently released a plan to reduce roadway crashes and eliminate traffic deaths in Chicago by 2026, and we were proud to stand with them.

“The Chicago Department of Transportation is committed to prioritizing safety and protecting the public,” CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld said. “Our goal is to provide a transportation network that is safe for all people, whether they are driving in vehicles, walking or biking. Through Vision Zero Chicago, we will be collaborating with other City departments and community partners to create an Action Plan to help us achieve our goal.”

This year the city is working on enhancing traffic signals, resurfacing streets, installing speed feedback signs, and additional or brand new bike lanes.

The plan also encourages driver and pedestrian education safety, focuses on communities with higher crash rates and enforces policies, training and technology to make driving safer in the Chicago area.

Those most vulnerable to crash fatalities are drivers and pedestrians 65 years and older.

According to the 2016 Dangerous by Design Report the danger for pedestrians in this age range increases 50 percent.

Take a second look at Safe Streets with AARP on WCIU.

Rosanna Marquez, AARP Illinois State President, is a passionate advocate for pedestrian safety.

“Nothing above zero is acceptable,” said Marquez, who was hit by a taxi downtown and now has a titanium rod in her leg.

“It’s one of those things you think can’t happen to you, but it did,” said Marquez, who was crossing with the light when she was hit. She said seniors are particularly vulnerable to being hit by cars because they may walk more slowly and/or have vision problems.

To learn more about Vision Zero’s commitment to safer Chicago streets here.


Kristina Lazzara, AARP Illinois

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