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Tue Feb 23, 2021, 02:48 PM

Speeding, Reckless Driving & Expressway Fatalities In The Chicagoland Area During The Pandemic....

Some friends and I in a Zoom Mtging were discussing the recent news reports about Chicago expressway fatalities.

It has been noticeable to all of us that there are less cars on the roads during the pandemic and many of drivers of those cars on the roads are driving recklessly and speeding more than usual.

All of us came to the same conclusion and that is that there are very few police patrolling the expressways and that the lack of police presence has embolden drivers to speed because they know that they won't be pulled over.

In discussing the lack of police presence on the expressways we also surmised that this might be a direct result of the pandemic and that police do not want to pull anyone over for fear of catching Covid from those in the cars that they pull over. Even if they wear a mask - there's no guarantee that the person that they pull over is wearing a mask and it is difficult to social distance in the process of giving a ticket.

I'm just curious now if we may have hit on something here.

Are any of you DU'ers police or do you know someone that is a policeman? Have you heard police comment that they might be avoiding pulling people over for fear of contracting Covid?

I believe that this is not just a problem in the Chicago area - but country wide.

Any and all comments are welcome. How do we remedy this situation?

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Reply Speeding, Reckless Driving & Expressway Fatalities In The Chicagoland Area During The Pandemic.... (Original post)
global1 Feb 2021 OP
machoneman Feb 2021 #1
global1 Feb 2021 #6
iscooterliberally Feb 2021 #2
WhiskeyGrinder Feb 2021 #3
machoneman Feb 2021 #8
marmar Feb 2021 #4
Claire Oh Nette Feb 2021 #5
IbogaProject Feb 2021 #7
North Shore Chicago Feb 2021 #9

Response to global1 (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 02:59 PM

1. Facts? I live in suburban Downers Grove, IL and have heard nothing about any increases. I fact....

Last edited Wed Feb 24, 2021, 06:42 AM - Edit history (1)

...some time ago, I did read that traffic accidents were way lower in 2020 due to far less traffic in all the Cook County and collar counties (like DuPage I'm in). Further, I've noted virtually every other day, as I cross on surface streets I-355 near my home that traffic at all daylight hours has been very light for many months now.

Not disputing what you heard or saw, yet I'd still like to see State of Illinois data from the tollway authority, Cook County (i.e. Chicago) or other State of Illinois sources on what the official stats are.

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Response to machoneman (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 04:04 PM

6. I Heard This On NBC 5 News Chicago Last Night.....

There is a link posted down line here that confirms that.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 03:06 PM

2. We have a similar situation in South Florida. I-95 is pretty much a free for all.

This article came out last month. It basically says there are less cops on the roads and the ones that are out there don't want to risk their lives just to write someone a speeding ticket. Since the article came out I have seen more police pulling people over though. There are also more people on the road now than there were 10 months ago when everything first shut down.

https://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/transportation/fl-ne-state-neglects-i95-safety-20201007-gdycjt6mnbanxjzj6wuboo3svu-htmlstory.html

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 03:07 PM

3. Here's an article about it.

Accidents are up because fewer people on the roads inspire the existing drivers to speed more; fewer stops because there are fewer people on the road.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-illinois-more-traffic-deaths-pandemic-20210212-4ybopm6pvbelpeorspd3cxm7gy-htmlstory.html

Nearly 160 more people died on Illinois roads last year than in 2019, making 2020 the deadliest year for Illinois drivers in 13 years, a surge officials say may have been fed by drivers speeding on roads left open by motorists who stayed home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About 1,166 people died in motor vehicle crashes in Illinois in 2020, a nearly 16% increase over 2019, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Thatís a provisional number, said IDOT spokesperson Guy Tridgell, since it takes the state agency 12-18 months to finalize annual data.

Illinois traffic fatalities havenít been that high since 2007, when 1,248 people died, according to recent and historic state data. Deaths include drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

State officials point to speeding and other risky driving behaviors, prompted by emptier-than-normal roads as states like Illinois issued coronavirus lockdown orders, as possibly feeding the jump in deaths.


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Response to WhiskeyGrinder (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 06:41 AM

8. Wow! I stand corrected. Thanks for the article. I guess this...

...relates to my only seeing local traffic and not hearing, until now, about why traffic deaths were way up.

I'll admit that on the few drives I've done in past months, I have noticed a total lack of State of Illinois police on our toll roads and major freeways. Didn't ever hear on local newscasts (NBC, CBS, ABC) of said carnage nor even major accidents that did result in deaths.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 03:08 PM

4. Same in the Detroit metro area.


I'll almost be glad when rush hours get back to normal.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 04:04 PM

5. like Tiger Woods?

Fewer cars and less traffic = opportunity to drive faster.

I'm a terrible speed demon. I admit it. Straight road, no traffic, let's see? Childish? Yes. Reckless? Not so much any more.

What slowed me down most on places I drive? Lots of lights, or round-abouts, or speed bumps. Even the rumble strips of bots dots can be evaded.

Based on what I've seen, he was likely flying down the road to make his tee time/photo interview obligation in PV, didn't quite make the curve, he crossed the berm hit the sign, and dragged it as he tumbled.

Hope he comes out ok and comes back strong. He's a magician on course, despite the wreck he made of his personal life.
If any one can re-remake his legacy, it's Tiger.



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Response to global1 (Original post)

Tue Feb 23, 2021, 05:20 PM

7. not sure about accidents around NYC...

Not sure about accidents here, drivers were already very crazy, so the slightly lower traffic likely helped.
Traffic stops has gone down and up over the pandemic. I suspect they are going to be making up for lost revenue as soon as they get 2 weeks past their second vax shot. Parking tickets in NYC have been very heavy after a brief lull last spring, but those aren't done with driver, just put on windshield after scanning the registration barcode sticker from dash, and verifying a few details about car, and location.

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Response to global1 (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 06:56 AM

9. I agree!

I drive 290 and 355 every day, speed limit is 60 but they pass me like I'm standing still. Texting and other nonsense is also happening with more frequency.

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