Have you noticed florescent stop signs cropping up in the middle of the street?
Since HB 43 went into law in 2010, Illinois drivers have been required to come to a complete stop—not just yield— for pedestrians in all crosswalks at intersections and at ones in the middle of the block designated by painted lines such as the crosswalk on Eagle Street in downtown Naperville.
Even though the crosswalk law is more than four years old, many motorists hesitate, appearing to be confused as well as unaware of the law, especially throughout downtown Naperville and along the Riverwalk. In fact, many stories posted online indicate the need throughout Illinois to create public awareness about the law for the safety of all pedestrians and drivers, too.
Definition of ‘crosswalk’
• Signalized crosswalks appear at stop signs and traffic signals. (Note the crosswalk at Webster Street and Aurora Avenue by the Pre-Emption House at Naper Settlement is an example of a signalized crosswalk.)
• Unsignalized crosswalks don’t have a stop sign or traffic signal and are referred to as “mid-block crosswalks.”
• Marked crosswalks are visible painted lines on the road designating their location. (See photo at right)
• Unmarked crosswalks can be at intersections where a sidewalk leads into the street. In other words, a crosswalk is present whenever a sidewalk leads into the street.
According to the law, in 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
In the vehicle code, 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))
Help keep everyone in the community safe
Though the law has been on the books since 2010, many drivers in this car-crazed culture fail to stop at all crosswalks when pedestrians are present. Help spread the word about the law to all new and longtime drivers, especially during warm weather when more individuals are outside running and walking.
Pedestrians are urged always to “look left, then right, then look left again” whenever crossing the street. Everyone must watch out for the other guy.
Be mindful also that the State of Illinois urges pedestrians and other drivers to report motorists who do not stop for crosswalks by taking down drivers’ license numbers. Fines range from $50 to $500.
Pay attention to crosswalks and to all pedestrians, especially at busy destinations such as ones in downtown Naperville and near neighborhood parks and playgrounds.