CHICAGO (CBS)–Chicago law requires drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, but impatient motorists still plow through intersections while people try to cross the street.
Even when pedestrians find themselves in the middle of a crosswalk stretching across traffic in both directions and the light turns green in the driver’s favor, drivers still have to stop.
Motorists caught disobeying Chicago’s crosswalk laws face fines up to $500, but some motorists rush through intersections even after they get a chance to turn left safely on a green arrow.
Pedestrian deaths are up across Chicago, with 46 people killed in city intersections last year, according to city data that shows 44 deaths in 2016. So far this year, 33 pedestrians have died in city intersections, according to a Chicago Department of Transportation spokesperson.
CBS 2 found one of the busiest intersections in the Chicago Loop especially scary.
On Tuesday afternoon, a CTA double-decker bus made a bold left turn from Washington onto Michigan Avenue–directly in front of the path of a woman pushing a stroller with a baby inside.
College professor Robert Peterson took some high schoolers on a field trip to Millenium Park recently. As the group crossed Michigan Avenue at Washington, some of the students found themselves scampering across the intersection to escape a path of vehicles that Peterson says decided to make their own traffic lane in between the pedestrians.
“You got to keep an eye on your own self,” Peterson said. “I was eye-to-eye with some of those cars making sure I’m reading the person. I guess they’re in a hurry.”
Another pedestrian, Ian Ferguson, said he paused halfway through the intersection to make sure a car creeping toward him would actually hit the brakes.
“I saw two cars go right by me and then one came too close,” Ferguson said. “Too close–that was a little close.”
CTA spokesperson Jon Kaplan saw the video and said the city would look further into the matter to “ensure all operators are following proper safety protocols,” he said.
“Safety is the number one concern of our bus operators,” Kaplan said. “Operators receive extensive training focused on safe operations.”
CBS 2 reached out to the Chicago Department of Transportation for the number of pedestrians killed so far this in 2018.