A horrific, fatal crash in Chicago has residents in the city and across the nation worried about speeding drivers in their neighborhoods.
A 21-year-old driver with a history of speeding was reportedly traveling at over 100 MPH in a marked 40 MPH zone when he crashed into another car with a family of four inside. Three members of the family and the 21-year-old driver were killed in the collision.
A veteran police chief in the area said he hardly remembers seeing such a large-scale fatal crash in the last 40 years.
“It’s just horrific, the impact,” Des Plaines police Chief William Kushner said in a public statement.
Court records show that the speeding driver had a history of traffic misdemeanors prior to this incident. An investigation is underway, although officials say toxicology reports won’t be available for at least another six weeks.
This accident and others like it have spurred a movement among suburban families across the nation. Approximately 83% of Americans believe that having a yard is important, and those with yards are using them to post signs against speeding. The signs read “drive like your kid lives here,” and serve to remind drivers to pay attention to speed limits and their surroundings, especially in suburban areas with a lot of kids around.
J.D. Chastain, a Texas resident who has eight grandchildren, placed two of the signs in his front lawn.
“People shouldn’t be speeding along here, they don’t save any time by going fast, so they can slow down and make it safer for the kids,” he said.
Almost 82% of Americans find an extra hour of sleep at night valuable, but parents and grandparents posting these signs find themselves losing sleep over the possibility that a reckless driver could harm one of their children or grandchildren.
“There’s three little girls that live down the street and they don’t deserve to be hurt by somebody not paying attention,” Chastain added.
Even Washington, D.C. is taking the high number of traffic deaths into consideration as they improve pedestrian safety in the heart of the D.C. area. City officials report that traffic enforcement is honing in on speeding violations because they’re the number one cause of traffic deaths.
Speeds in some areas of the city may be reduced to 15 MPH at certain times in an effort to promote pedestrian safety. Children and seniors are the most frequent victims of pedestrian accidents, and D.C. is aiming to end traffic fatalities by 2024.
Cities across the country are taking some of the same precautions in an effort to prevent tragic accidents like the one in Chicago.