A pedestrian’s life isn’t worth much in the state of Illinois. The Illinois Senate voted 27-21 Tuesday for House Bill 43, which would force vehicles to come to a complete stop at unregulated crosswalks when pedestrians are present. Unfortunately, the measure needed 30 votes to pass.

A pedestrian’s life isn’t worth much in the state of Illinois.

The Illinois Senate voted 27-21 Tuesday for House Bill 43, which would force vehicles to come to a complete stop at unregulated crosswalks when pedestrians are present. Drivers who don’t stop would be fined a minimum of $150. As we said last month, we’d support even costlier fines and penalties or jail time because this is a matter of public safety. Common sense is in short supply, so legislation needs to fill the gap.

Unfortunately, the measure needed 30 votes to pass. It may be resurrected. We hope so, because crossing the street can be a life-threatening experience. Many motorists seem as if they’d rather run you over than slow down or yield when they get to a crosswalk.

We’re more sensitive to the issue because of the crosswalk in front of the News Tower in Rockford. Just about every employee of the newspaper can tell a harrowing tale about how he or she barely survived while crossing State Street.

We know pedestrians can be in the wrong sometimes, but we still think the person behind a 2,000-pound vehicle should be the person most responsible for safety.

“I believe there will be rear-end collisions and widespread chaos,” Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, said of the bill. “I just live in the real world.”

We invite Sen. Dillard to visit us, park in the municipal lot across the street, take a stroll and see what “widespread chaos” looks like.

Rockford Register Star