Mannequins Set Up In Memory Of Pedestrian Crash Victims

UPDATED 10/25/11 – 5:36 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Motorists and pedestrians on Wacker Drive Tuesday will be subjected to a ghastly sight that has nothing to do with Halloween.

As CBS 2’s Kris Habermehl reports, 32 mannequins have been erected on the sidewalk between the main branch of the Chicago River and Upper Wacker Drive. The mannequins represent the pedestrians killed in crashes last year.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

The mannequins have been placed in the planter boxes along the north sidewalk on Wacker Drive, some in solitude and others doubled up. They can be found between Michigan Avenue and Wells Street.

The Chicago Department of Transportation and the Police Department are behind the effort, using public art, in a sense, to get people thinking about public safety.

The numbers tell the urgency: 3,000 injured and 32 killed last year while crossing streets in Chicago.

On Tuesday, the city launched a campaign to remind people of that grim statistic – and perhaps scare them into putting safety first.

CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez shows you don’t have to look long to find bad behavior.

Remember “stop, look, listen?” We learned that advice about crossing the street in grade school, but after spending the afternoon watching pedestrians in the Loop, it’s clear many people need a refresher course.

Crossing against the light, texting while in the middle of the street, jaywalking, texting while jaywalking – you name the violation, CBS 2 found pedestrians breaking rules left and right.

The consequences can be deadly. On Tuesday, the Chicago Department of Transportation, Chicago police and national traffic safety officials launched a campaign to remind pedestrians about the dangers they face.

“We have far too many pedestrians being hit on our city streets,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein.

Last year, 3,000 pedestrians were hit by cars in the city, and 32 of them were killed, Klein said.

Each of the mannequins placed along Upper Wacker Drive on Tuesday represented one of the lives cut short. They’re intended to remind pedestrians and motorists alike to obey the rules of the road.

“I know sometimes you feel when you’re in a car a pedestrian frustrates you. When you’re a pedestrian the cars frustrate you,” said Klein.

It is a two-way street, although pedestrians have more at stake.

“While you may be right, a 2,000-pound car is more right than you in that situation,” said David Strickland, administrator for the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration.

Officials said that 80% of the pedestrians hit last year in the Chicago were crossing with the signal – a clear indication that drivers are breaking rules too.

To catch them, Chicago police are posing as pedestrians. Drivers who fail to stop for them are pulled over and ticketed.

The law requires drivers to not only yield, but stop for pedestrians. Drivers are also supposed to stop before reaching crosswalks.

  • Just Axin

    Great. We have gov’t workers taking their time (our $) to erect silly attention-grabbing props. They’d be more productive driving around the city replacing the multiple traffic signals that are out.

  • Steve Brennan

    Instead of this stupid display, they should start a campaign of, look both ways before crossing the street. Almost all pedesrian accidents are the fault of the careless pedestrian.

  • FHS

    What a waste of resources, I know they were excited about this year’s halloween but come one, really!?

  • Chitwngirly35

    THANK YOU Steve Brennan…you are so correct!!..some pedestrians should be ticketed for walking into moving traffic…while on their cell phones!

  • tj

    Your so right Steve Brennan & Chitwngirly35

  • Nick Risa

    where did the city get all the money for the campaign.

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