Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Traffic Lights, They Keep a Changing! So What will Chicago's Traffic Engineers and Illinois Legislature Do?

The Cermak Red line Fiasco is exactly that.

Are Illinois legislators seem asleep at the wheel or trying to get away with it? Look at the newer reckless homicide statutes, below! Traffic engineers and 'some' Streets and Sanitation workers (not Erickson!!!)also seem just as dubious to me. Replacing street signs and routinely timing our traffic lights requires persistent field work. It takes criminal statutes and good staffing, which take efficiency, time, reckoning and a reasonable tax system; caveat emptor.
In the face of written complaints, such omissions of duty are often portrayed as reckless oversight in court. Do we have 'enough' traffic engineers or streets and sanitation workers, who 'actually work at a reasonable pace?' Do public servants routinely find challenges rather than waiting for a public report? How can we encourage these folks to work better for us?

How does a traffic engineers get their job or keep it without reasonable persistence and support? How can Chicago afford to pay an uncaring engineer or streets and sanitation worker? One answer is 'actual' (not feigned) public servant vigilence and ethically attentive human resource units. Cities and unions require responsible coordinators and stewards. Certainly we need public vigilence and appropriate persistence 'before the fact.' Kudos to Craig. Why hasn't this sunk in! A wink and a nod just won't do those jobs. To ignore the obvious is to literally subsidize personal injury attorneys in their suburban spreads who feed at Chicago's trough!

Nevertheless, the public can always fill out traffic engineer forms and complain about screwed up signs and unsynchronized lights. Here is the form! Regrettably, we can no longer easily indict all reckless drivers unless they intentionally go airborne. In addition, crossing guards rarely carry speed gun, so the blurb about being twenty mile per hour in excess of the speed limit is a waste of ink; it will rarely be proven. I mean what is that about?

The more recent revisions of the Illinois Reckless homicide Act requires the motor vehicle or truck 'to go airborne!' 720 ILCS 5/9-3(e-9). Otherwise, this 'possibly' drug induced rampage by trucker, Doug Wells, who fell asleep at the wheel should serve a warning. I thought urinalysis was mandatory! Legislators must strengthen, not weaken Illinois reckless homicide law for outrageous driving.

The illustrious truck driver, Donald Wells, won't even provide a urine sample. However, I thought that drug testing was mandatory for a trucker conducting commerce with a CDL, just like a train engineer. Have the folks at Strodger forgotten? Apparently, the police haven't and he was taken into custody. For how long is unclear. A truck driver is a professional. Drivers should know when to say when; it is their livelihood. This guy flew off the Franklin Street exit and destroyed the Cermac Station. He went up an incline, the stairwell. Police should check out his traffic record including supervisions. The CDL record may not be all.
And are any of our political locals with clout (hey Mr. F) running to Stroger Hospital in search of answers? Or at least some drug testing for Don Wells, who was the proveyor of this mess?

Ultimately, and disappointingly, the public will not get justice unless Wells does time, rather than just having his CDL pulled for life. How many McCormick Place workers have to be plowed dead by reckless truckers? How many kids needlessly get run over on crosswalks by reckless truckers? Frankly, those who are reckless drivers should be riding the subway for life and looking for another vocation. Well, at least Don Wells is fifty one, so he may soon get free subway rides and social security, where he lives in Chicago! Don, traveling through Chicago does not give you the right to kill folks, when you get sleepy!

The decision to turn the Illinois Reckless Homicide Statute into a useless farce over the last ten years concerns me. It may have more to do with motives separate and apart from the administration of justice for all. Ultimately, the public pays dearly, both emotinally and monetarily, when there are pathetic consequences for the driver and those who control the signal box.

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