Roadway Safety Overview
The Illinois Tollway is committed to exploring ways to develop and promote better roadway safety. From project planning to roadway construction, safety is always a top priority. The Tollway’s planning and engineering teams consistently seek opportunities to make roads safer, and Tollway leadership promotes driver safety throughout the organization.
The lives of the Tollway’s customers and employees depend on it.
Maintenance workers, H.E.L.P. truck drivers, Illinois State Police troopers, construction contractors and toll collectors risk their lives every day, and customers put their trust in these individuals and each other to have a safe, reliable commute. Unfortunately, not all drivers understand the dangers of a highway system designed to keep traffic moving.
It is for this reason the Illinois Tollway has launched initiative after initiative to promote roadway safety, enhance the highway system and educate the public on the law and best practices of driving. The Tollway continuously looks for effective ways to develop and promote safety.
Work Zone Safety
The Illinois Tollway has always committed to ensuring that its work zones remain safe for both drivers and workers during construction. As the 2012 construction season got into full swing, the Tollway joined the Illinois Department of Transportation in launching the Embrace the Orange campaign.
Each year, we commit to getting the word out that work zone safety affects drivers as well as construction workers. In Illinois, almost four out of five work zone fatalities involve someone other than a worker. Driving home the message of See Orange. Slow Down. Save Lives, our agency continued its efforts to remind motorist that every life counts.
It is important for everyone to do their part to improve work zone safety. Work zone safety is everyone’s responsibility.
2019 National Work Zone Awareness Week
National Work Zone Safety Week brings national attention to motorist and worker safety in work zones across the country. This year’s campaign, “Drive Like You Work Here,” reminds drivers to use extra caution in work zones to keep everyone safe. As roadways are maintained and upgraded, it is important for drivers to help provide a safe environment and exhibit safe driving habits through highway work zones.
The Illinois Tollway is proud of its commitment to safety and is a partner in the National Work Zone Awareness Week effort.
Drop It and Drive
In 2007, a Distracted Drivers Task Force was created to study distracted driving in Illinois. Based on recommendations from the Task Force, the Illinois State Legislature passed a bill banning texting while driving in August 2009.
Four years later, the bill was expanded barring all hand-held cellphone use by all drivers – a law in place today.
In response to this new law, the Tollway joined forces with the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police, Illinois Secretary of State and AAA to help reduce the number of crashes caused by distracted driving. Together we launched the Drop It and Drive campaign in an effort to raise awareness of the dangers and penalties for holding a phone while driving.
Give Them Distance
In January 2017, Illinois expanded the state’s move over law, Scott’s Law, to include any vehicle with hazard lights flashing. Later that year, the Illinois Tollway launched the “Give them Distance” campaign as a way to highlight and promote the importance of roadway safety, and the dangers of not ceding to first responders and distressed vehicles on the shoulder of the road.
Scott’s Law, was first enacted in 2002 after Lt. Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department was struck and killed by an intoxicated driver on the Dan Ryan Expressway while assisting at a crash scene in December 2000. The law requires motorists approaching stopped emergency vehicles with lights flashing to slow down and move over, changing lanes if possible to make extra room.
The Illinois Tollway along with various transportation, safety and government leaders came together to raise awareness of this law by launching the Give Them Distance campaign.