In Illinois, drivers who hit a worker are subject for up to a $10,000 fine and 14 years in prison. (source: http://www.dot.state.il.us/press/r062409.html )
On February 26, 2012 in suburban Darien, IL a 14 year old boy, Hunter Himes, was hit while riding his bike through a crosswalk and subsequently pinned underneath the vehicle. (source: http://darien-il.patch.com/articles/bicycling-teen-trapped-under-car-seriously-injured ) The boy barely survived the accident and has been left with severe disabilities including quadraparesis and the inability to speak. The driver of the vehicle was ticketed for “Failure to Yield” by local police. While the driver has had prior traffic offenses showing a pattern of bad habits, he is still only facing "Community Service" for his actions due to the current statutes written for this offense. The driver was also completely sober, making this incident that much more reprehensible, and its injustice completely intolerable. Distracted driving is just as deadly as driving under the influence and yet we do not hold both driver's up to the same accountability. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE.
The Illinois “Hit A Construction Worker Penalty” has been widely publicized and accepted. Unfortunately a young boy named Hunter Himes, now severely disabled and robbed of the life he once had, has not been afforded this same justice. THIS LAW NEEDS TO CHANGE IMMEDIATELY.
It is disconcerting as a citizen of Illinois to know that the “Failure to Yield to Pedestrian” law is not equal to other similar laws. ONE LIFE IS NOT MORE VALUABLE THAN ANOTHER! This unfortunate case of Hunter Himes clearly illustrates the need for statutes to be changed immediately.
I urge you as Governor to please help change this law. Please help make Illinois pedestrians safer, our children safer, and distracted drivers accountable for their actions behind the wheel. The people of Illinois will thank you — and so will the over 2,400 supporters of Hope for Hunter.