Mannequins Stand for Pedestrian Safety

Thirty-two figures, representing the number of pedestrian lives lost in Chicago in 2010, stand along Wacker Drive from Michigan to Wells

In a silent but striking campaign, mannequins representing pedestrians killed in collisions with cars were placed along Wacker Drive from Michigan to Wells on Tuesday.

The 32 figures, commemorating the number of pedestrian lives lost in Chicago in 2010, are part of a safety campaign by the Chicago Department of Transportation and the police department.

Each of the mannequins wear a T-shirt that reads, "It's up to you. Be Alert Be Safe."

"Some of it is hard-hitting, some of it may be shocking, but we want to remind people when you're frustrated behind the wheel that these are real people and real lives," said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein.

He said there are about 3,000 pedestrians injured and more than 30 killed in crashes each year.

Other components of the campaign include outreach to taxi drivers, schools and senior centers, as well as messages on bus shelters, trash bins and sidewalks.

Officials report more than 3,000 pedestrians were injured over the past seven years. State law mandates that drivers make a complete stop for pedestrians. Police said the next step will use real officers dressed as pedestrians to ticket drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians.

Roughly 80 percent of vehicle-pedestrian accidents occur at intersections while the walk signal is activated, a city study released earlier this year reported.

Chicago is one of four areas the national office will focus on involving pedestrian accidents, said  David Strickland with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Other areas include Tampa, North Carolina, and New Mexico.

Klein said Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration has a goal of zero fatalities by 2020.

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