* Kerry Lester…
A suburban lawmaker is pushing to make failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk a felony if it results in death or injury. The move was inspired by the death of a Mount Prospect mother of five.
State Rep. David Harris, an Arlington Heights Republican, tells me he attended meetings after the June 9 death of 55-year-old Joni Beaudry, who was struck and killed as she rode her bike through a Central Road crosswalk near Melas Park.
“One of the things that troubled me so much is that over the years we’ve emphasized the right of the pedestrian in the crosswalk,” Harris said. “But that’s just one side of it. … We’ve got to tell drivers, if you don’t do it, there’s a penalty.”
Currently, there are no penalties on the books for striking a pedestrian in a crosswalk, though drivers are penalized for reckless driving. Hanna Burzynska, 56, of Elk Grove Village, pleaded guilty to three different traffic violations for hitting Beaudry. Burzynska lost her license for a period of time and had to pay $364 in fines and court costs.
Learn something new every day. I had no idea there weren’t any specific penalties for hitting people in a crosswalk.