96th General Assembly - Caution

96th General Assembly - Caution

96th General Assembly - Caution


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2010 is off to a running start for Traffic Safety! Many programs are in

progress and many more are planned.

High schools around the state worked hard at winning the chance to

participate in Ford’s Driving Skills for Life event (DSFL) through our Operation

Teen Safe Driving program (OTSD). Winning schools were announced April

9th and the top six schools will participate in DSFL. The OTSD program is

also raising awareness about safe driving during prom season by providing

items to schools marked with the Please Return on Monday (PROM) logo.

Teachers wear special shirts the day before prom and distribute educational

materials bearing the PROM logo reminding teens to drive safely and to

please return on Monday.

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. The “Start Seeing Motorcycles”

campaign will begin May 1st. Thirty-foot bright yellow banners with the

message, “Start Seeing Motorcycles” will be distributed to law enforcement

agencies and motorcycle clubs for placement in strategic areas throughout the state in an attempt to raise

awareness of the presence of motorcycles. The Illinois State Police Motorcycle Enforcement Bureau will

help focus attention on Motorcycle Awareness Month through intensive motorcycle enforcement activities

on Interstates throughout the state. Please remember that with warmer weather, more motorcycles are on

the highways.

During New Year’s Day, Super Bowl and St. Patrick’s Day, the Division of Traffic Safety held rigorous

impaired driving enforcement campaigns. Increased law enforcement, roadside safety check points

and media blitzes could be seen during these times. Impaired driving campaigns remind everyone to

never drink and drive and always designate a sober driver. Look for our Memorial Day public service

announcements and remember to designate a sober driver during your celebration. Remember, it is not

worth losing everything over one day of drinking and then driving.

The Work Zone Safety calendar contest is raising awareness through our future drivers. Contest winners

will be announced in May. The “Click It Or Ticket” campaign continues to remind us to always buckle up,

and new cell phone usage laws are helping raise awareness of the tragic consequences of distracted


All of our programs work together to continually raise traffic safety awareness. Have a safe and happy

spring and remember to always drive with caution!

Gary Hannig


This past winter had to be one of the worst in the past fifteen years. It was

cold, snowy, icy and just plain miserable. This can be said about every

region in our state. Warmer weather has finally arrived, but before you jump

on that motorcycle, bicycle or just walk down the street, remember to be

careful out there.

It is difficult to imagine, but one out of every four traffic fatalities in Illinois is

a pedestrian, motorcyclist or bicyclist. Believe it! What do all three have in

common--they are warm weather activities. So, let us look at what we can

do to better our chances of returning home safely.

Do you own a motorcycle? How long have you operated a motorcycle? Did

you take advantage of the Illinois Cycle Rider Training Program? If not,

check out www.startseeingmotorcyles.org. These classes fill up quickly but

you can get on the standby list if the class you want is full. Our department

and our partners are working to expand the number of training classes.

In addition to training, we ask that everyone wear bright colored clothing and the appropriate safety gear,

including an approved helmet. A rider’s chances of surviving a crash are much better when wearing an

approved helmet. Be sure and watch out for the other guy! It is everyone’s responsibility to share the

road. Drivers of cars and trucks must pay more attention and “Start Seeing Motorcycles!” And finally,

never drink alcohol and ride a motorcycle. The two are a recipe for disaster.

Much of what was stated for motorcycle riders can be said about bicycle riders. Always wear a helmet,

bright clothing and other safety gear. Never drink alcohol and ride. Parents, please supervise your

children as far too many young children are injured each year. All motorists should be on the lookout for

children, especially before and after school.

Taking a walk on a bright, sunny, warm day; it doesn’t get any better than to be outside breathing the fresh

air! It doesn’t matter if you are a serious runner or like me, a leisure walker; you must pay attention to

traffic and traffic signals. Do not take for granted that every vehicle will come to a complete stop at a light

or sign. Always look left, right and then left again before crossing a street. Always wear bright clothes!

Illinois, you deserve good weather! Get out and enjoy it, but please pay close attention to your

surroundings. Be safe, be healthy and have a great spring!

Mike Stout


1 CAUTION!-Spring 2010



I am behind the wheel with my safety belt on. I’ve

only had my driver’s license for three months now.

My parents have just allowed me to take the family

car out! In my rear view mirror I see a minivan fast

approaching, I begin to get nervous. My eyes return

to the road, suddenly I hear a loud “HONK” and in

my mirror I see the minivan directly on my rear. I

can’t believe they haven’t hit my car yet!! My heart

begins to race, my face begins to flush with heat,

and I don’t know what to do! Next thing I know, the

minivan is passing me while honking and ‘flipping

the bird’. The nerve of that person! I am driving

the speed limit, boy am I upset….then….from the

corner of my eye, there it is, my heart beat begins

to return to normal…there is my red colored ICKY

adhered to my dash reminding me that “Impatience

Can Kill You (ICKY).” I continue along my route to

my destination where I arrive safe and sound.

This is the first time that a school has successfully

created a teen safe driving mascot. Not only did

Hillside Bethel make and distribute ICKY reminders

within their community, but they also reached out

to other communities and provided free ICKY’s

to anyone who wanted one. The ICKY became

an instant hit and soon surrounding areas were

contacting Hillside Bethel with ICKY orders. BUT

WAIT-there is more! Hillside Bethel took their

ingenuity one step further. With the assistance of a

parent, students built an ICKY costume. A student

wearing an ICKY costume now attends events and

gives out ICKY’s and other materials containing

safe driving messages. The ICKY has left its mark

on the community and continues to spread the


By Marianne Hankins, OTSD Coordinator

The Hillside Bethel Christian School in Decatur,

Illinois is one of 105 Operation Teen Safe Driving

Schools. This marks Hillside Bethel’s second year

in the program. Their innovation and creativity last

year earned them first place in their region. They

have continued the trend this year by creating their

own teen driving symbol and mascot-the ICKY.

Student’s came together to make adorable fuzz

balls with eyes and feet that can be adhered to dash

boards as a reminder to remain patient while behind

the wheel.

2 CAUTION!-Spring 2010

More than 8,000 teens lose their lives in traffic

crashes each year in the United States. Lack of

safety belt use, speed, distraction, impaired driving

and lack of driving experience are among the major

reasons for teen fatalities and injuries in crashes.

Teen fatalities are on the decline. Traffic crashes

claimed the lives of 155 Illinois teens in 2007, 93 in

2008 and 79 in 2009. Teen fatalities have hit a ten

year low in Illinois.

Traffic Safety programs, in coordination with new

legislation, contribute to the decline. The Operation

Teen Safe Driving (OTSD) program, a “peer to peer

teaching program” along with the development of

one of the toughest Graduated Drivers License

programs in the country make a difference in

saving teen lives, but we can do more.

Prom is a big event for teens and too many are

killed or seriously injured during prom season. To

help bring awareness, the Illinois Department of

Transportation’s, Division of Traffic Safety (IDOT/

DTS) began the PROM program to assist high

schools in their efforts to encourage teens to drive


At an Operation Teen Safe Driving press

conference in 2008, Illinois Secretary of State

Jesse White asked a group of teenagers if they

knew what prom stood for, but none had a good

answer. Secretary White explained it stood for

“Please Return On Monday” and thus the idea for

the IDOT/DTS PROM program was born!

IDOT/DTS made 150 PROM packages available

to Illinois high schools on a first come, first served

basis. The packages represented pre-prom

reminders that students should have fun at prom,

but they must return on Monday. The packages

included: 30 T-shirts for teachers to wear on the

last school day before prom, 100 lanyards, 100

pens and 100 key chains all displaying the PROM

message as well as 100 copies of a fact sheet with

information and statistics regarding teen driving


In order to participate, each school was required to

complete an application form (TS 514) from

IDOT/DTS’s website and fax or mail it to

IDOT/DTS. The first 150 schools that applied

got into the program. Once supplies ran out, the

application was no longer available. Schools are

required to report on how they used the PROM

materials with a reporting form (TS 515).

In a future edition of CAUTION! Magazine we

will let you know how schools utilized the PROM

materials and if they made a difference. Based on

the number of schools requesting PROM supplies,

the program looks promising.

Information on PROM can be found at:


Information on OTSD can be found at:


By Marianne Hankins, PROM Coordinator

3 CAUTION!-Spring 2010




Illinois recorded a decline in teen fatalities of almost

50 percent since 2007. In 2009, 79 teens (ages

16-19) lost their lives on Illinois roadways. The

Operation Teen Safe Driving Program (OTSD) is

largely responsible for the decline. This program

is a continued success due to the combined efforts

of the Governor’s Office, the Illinois Department

of Transportation’s, Division of Traffic Safety, the

Secretary of State, the Governors Highway Safety

Association, Illinois State Police, the Ford Motor

Company Fund and The Allstate Foundation.

The 2010 OTSD program is off to a roaring start.

105 Illinois high schools participating in the OTSD

program were pre-screened throughout the month

of March. Final statewide judging will be held

in early April 2010. In addition to winning POST

PROM prize funding, the big jackpot for high school

students is the Ford’s Driving Skills for Life (DSFL)

Ride and Drive events. The top five placing high

schools in each region (35 schools) will have an

opportunity to attend.

OTSD Background

Vehicle crashes are the number one killer of

teenagers in America. Nearly 5,000 teens die

annually in crashes according to the most recent

data from the National Highway Traffic Safety

Administration. Because of inexperience, many

teens lack the skills and knowledge required to be

safe drivers. Statistics show that teen involvement

in crashes decline considerably as young drivers

gain experience.

Safe Driving Solutions

DSFL was established in 2003 by the Ford Motor

Company Fund, the Governors Highway Safety

Association, and a panel of safety experts who

teach newly licensed drivers the necessary skills for

safe driving beyond what they learned in standard

driver’s education programs.

The DSFL two day events will be held on April 26

and 27 at the Springfield Abraham Lincoln Capital

City Airport, Springfield, Illinois and April 29 and 30

at US Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois.

4 CAUTION!-Spring 2010

DSFL helps young drivers improve their skills in

four key areas that are critical factors in more than

60 percent of vehicle crashes including:

1) Hazard Recognition

a. The point of no return

b. How to scan for trouble

c. Minimizing distraction

d. Safety zones

e. Minimum vision lead time

f. Approaching and turning left at an


d. Using proper signals and covering the


4) Space Management

a. Maintaining space around, ahead and

behind the vehicle

b. Learning how to adjust speed

c. Maintaining a safe distance between


d. How to avoid being rear-ended and

avoiding a head-on crash

For more information please visit the website:


By Marianne Hankins, OTSD Coordinator

2) Vehicle Handling

a. Contact road patches

b. How acceleration, deceleration,

braking and turns affect vehicle


c. Adjusting to a vehicle’s size and


d. Conventional braking systems versus

anti-lock braking systems

e. Emergency braking techniques

3) Speed Management

a. How to stay in contact with the road

b. Driving at a speed that does not

endanger or impede others

c. How to recover from skids in frontand

rear-wheel drive vehicles

5 CAUTION!-Spring 2010


No Phone Zone!

Oprah Winfrey is committed to ending the tragic

loss of life caused by distracted driving through

her “No Phone Zone” campaign. This movement

is spreading the message that distracted driving

kills. It all began with one episode where Oprah

pledged to put her phone down while driving and

challenged others to do the same. Oprah’s website

(www.oprah.com) provides numerous tools aimed

at educating communities about the dangers of

distracted driving including the “No Phone Zone”

pledge, a distracted driving quiz, victim impact

stories, videos and more.

Distracted driving is an epidemic that is sweeping

through our country, claiming lives and destroying

families. Millions of people text, talk or e-mail on

their cell phones while driving. A recent survey

finds that 71 percent of people between the ages

of 18 and 49 admit they text or talk on the phone

while they drive.

Think you can drive and text or talk at the same

time? Science shows your brain just can’t keep up.

University of Utah researcher David Strayer has

been studying distracted drivers for 10 years. “The

brain just doesn’t work the way we’d like it to work,”

he says. “We can’t multitask the way that a lot of

people think they can.”

David’s research found that talking on a cell

phone quadruples the risk of an accident. “For

comparison purposes, someone who is drunk at

a 0.08 blood alcohol level has a four-time crash

increase. So talking on a cell phone is about the

same as driving drunk,” he says. “When you are

text messaging, the crash risk goes up to eight


Nearly 500,000 people are injured and 6,000 are

killed each year because drivers are talking, texting

and e-mailing behind the wheel. If you think you

have the cell phone, texting and driving thing

down...you do not.

Sign Oprah’s pledge to make your car a No Phone

Zone and pass it on. You could save a life—maybe

even yours.

Sign the No Phone Zone pledge:


Create your own PSA!



See the show that started the movement:



6 CAUTION!-Spring 2010


How much do you know about distracted


1. What form of distracted driving is the

equivalent of driving drunk?

a. Talking on the phone

b. Texting

c. E-mailing

d. None of the above

2. What percentage of people between 18 and

49 admit they talk on the phone or text while

they drive?

a. 29

b. 43

c. 71

d. 96

3. How many people are injured each year in

accidents involving distracted driving?

a. 250,000

b. 500,000

c. 750,000

d. 1,000,000

4. On average, how many people are killed in

accidents involving distracted driving each


a. 6,000

b. 10,000

c. 17,000

d. 29,000

5. How many states have laws restricting

texting and driving?

a. 13

b. 29

c. 37

d. 50

Mark your calendars!

April 30 is National



Oprah is taking her

No Phone Zone

campaign to the

streets. Be a part of

this lifesaving event

and tune into the

Oprah show

Friday, April 30!


1. A, 2. C, 3. B, 4. A, 5. B



Article taken from excerpts of Oprah Winfrey’s website:

www.oprah.com/packages/no-phone-zone.html, Edited by Kristen

Chiaro, Editor-in-Chief

7 CAUTION!-Spring 2010


Governor Quinn has issued a proclamation

designating May as Motorcycle Awareness Month.

The Division of Traffic Safety will hold press

conferences in Chicago, Springfield and O’Fallon

on April 28th to kick off a series of events statewide

aimed at making 2010 a year to remember for safe


The Division has set ambitious goals for our four

University training partners which will hopefully

result in a 50 percent increase in training totals from

16,701 in 2009 to 25,000 in 2010. Motorcycles are

the fastest growing segment of vehicles statewide

and are among the most vulnerable when involved

in crashes.

management techniques that can be employed

by motorcyclists to make improvements to the

safety of their sport.

• Advertising efforts will include the distribution

of “Start Seeing Motorcycles” banners,

“Don’t Drink and Ride” radio spots, and cable

TV spots promoting the division’s website:


• Collaborate with law enforcement in the

development of details aimed at alcohol and

license endorsement violations.

By Larry Williams, Regulations and Training Unit Manager

The Division has undertaken new initiatives to

expand the Motorcycle Safety Program beyond

its initial training focus into a more comprehensive

approach including, but not limited to, the following


• Development of research driven

countermeasures through data analysis of

motorcycle crashes which will hopefully deliver

fewer and less severe crashes by identifying

the five W’s (who, what, why, when and where)

of motorcycle crashes. We hope to develop

strategies that can be targeted at specific

problem areas.

• Expanded outreach activities will focus on

interaction with motorcyclists at various events

across the state in an effort to effectuate

risk awareness and promote effective risk

8 CAUTION!-Spring 2010

A Biker’s Worst Nightmare...

There is an old saying, you never see a motorcycle

parked outside a psychiatrist’s office. Riding a

motorcycle involves euphoric feelings of adventure,

freedom and excitement. You must experience

riding to truly appreciate it.

When I was young I could not wait to drive. I

started drag racing a Chevy when I was 16, but

when my high school boyfriend introduced me

to motorcycles, I discovered my first love-the

motorcycle. After three rides on the back of a

motorcycle, I needed to take the handlebars and I

haven’t let go since. Motorcycle training courses

would not exist until the 1970’s, so my lessons

came from experienced riders. My first lesson

was in the late 1960’s in a backyard on a large,

intimidating, kick-start, tank-shift Harley. The first

thing I learned was that many crashes happen at

intersections and because of distracted drivers.

The second thing I learned was the importance of

riding defensively.

I have worked in the motorcycle industry since

1977. In 1983 I co-founded the 2nd chapter of

Women in the Wind (now an international riding

group). In 1985 I co-founded Harley Women

magazine (the 1st magazine geared toward

female enthusiasts). In 1996 I was the fifth woman

inducted into the National Motorcycle Hall of

Fame and currently I am the events coordinator

for City Limits Harley in Palatine, Illinois. Four

decades, two experienced rider courses and nine

motorcycles later, I have accrued hundreds of

thousands of (safe) miles in the saddle and I can’t

imagine life without a motorcycle.

Midway through 2009 I noticed more motorcycle

crashes than usual. I believe distracted drivers

are largely to blame. It was also a particularly

bad year for my family. My niece had a stillborn

baby, my nephew and aunt passed away, my sister

developed cancer and four days after ‘Zena’ my

Doberman passed away in my arms, I almost lost

my own life.

Jo with her Doberman Zena and her 1996 Harley-Davidson

It was July 17th. I fired up my Harley after work

and put on my leathers. I made a quick call to tell

my 86-year-old mother that I was on my way home.

Traffic was light as I cruised at about 40 miles per

hour through the intersection. Suddenly, it was a

biker’s worst nightmare! A car turned left directly

into my path. Impact was inevitable. I had no time

to hit the brakes and no way of missing the car.

Instincts kicked in, I knew I had to avoid T-boning

the car or the outcome could be worse. The impact

came fast. I laid my bike down hard on her left

side. I believe I hit the rear of the car and tore off

the bumper. To this day, I don’t know when I was

separated from my bike. I felt a hard impact then

another one. My clear night-riding glasses were

ground down by the car or pavement. I landed on

my hands and knees. My Harley slid about 25 feet

farther down the road. Dazed and in pain, I tried

to get up or crawl but I couldn’t. I turned to see

headlights coming at me. I knew that some riders

survive the initial crash only to be hurt worse or

killed by traffic. I tried to ignore the pain and move

sideways toward the median.

9 CAUTION!-Spring 2010

Thankfully, another motorist pulled up and protected

me. He turned on his emergency flashers and

blocked me from oncoming cars. Still dazed I

called my boss to come and get my bike. Then I

called my mother. After all of our family tragedies,

I did not want her to get a call from the hospital. I

down played the accident and told her someone

hit my bike and I thought I should get checked out.

Traffic moved slowly in the opposite lanes with

people peering out their windows. Some must have

been thinking, ‘Is this woman really talking on her

cell phone after just being in a crash?!’ When I saw

the Palatine police and fire departments coming,

I felt like the cavalry had arrived! Still on the

pavement, I thanked God for keeping me so safe,

under the circumstances.

As my gurney bounced into the ambulance, I

worried about many things and knew I would miss

out on more. I wondered how Mom would fare

if I had to stay in the hospital. I thought about

tomorrow’s benefit ride that we organized for Arena

of Dreams and knew I would not be attending. I

thought about the ladies’ ride I was supposed to

lead and my upcoming motorcycle vacation, both

no longer an option. As the paramedics tended to

me, I wondered how severely I was injured and how

badly my bike was damaged. In the emergency

room, I wondered how long I would be off work and

how I would pay my bills during my recovery. But

most of all I thought about my family and friends

and was grateful I would get to see them again.

The hospital cut off my clothing, stitched my knee

and took me for x-rays and CAT scans. I left

four hours later in a wheelchair still wearing my

Harley sweatshirt. My injuries included a chipped

kneecap, stitches in my knee, many badly bruised

bones, road rash on my knees, nose and forehead,

and pain that enveloped my entire body.

Almost a year later, I am still in pain and seeing

doctors. I have permanently damaged knee

cartilage and the image of that car will be

embedded in my memory forever. Ice packs are a

part of everyday life and I often use a cane by the

end of the day. My Harley Road King, with 92,087

miles on it, was totaled. She was more than just

a piece of machinery to me. From May 1st–15th,

2009 she was on display in the lobby of Harley-

Davidson’s Museum in Milwaukee during the

beginning of Women Rider’s Month. The first time I

saw her after the crash, I could not help but cry.

Left to Right: Jennifer Knourek, Illinois Biker Information Guide, Jo

Giovannoni, City Limits Harley-Davidson and Gina Woods, co-founder

of Open Road Radio

I am determined to ride again-God willing. But I

know riding has changed forever. I have been told

that the pain in my knees might never go away.

This will undoubtedly affect cross country riding,

which is something I love. I am not sure why the

young driver did not see my large Harley with its

big headlight and two spotlights, but I know that my

years of experience and the two Experienced Rider

Courses I took through the Illinois Department of

Transportation’s, Division of Traffic Safety (IDOT/

DTS) were vital to my survival. Prior to the crash

I was an avid supporter of IDOT/DTS’s - START


more dedicated than ever in spreading IDOT/

DTS’s safety messages through promotional

materials designed to save lives. I encourage

everyone to spread the word to START SEEING

MOTORCYCLES and save lives!

By Jo Giovannoni, Events Coordinator, City Limits Harley-Davidson

10 CAUTION!-Spring 2010

State Supreme Court Rules on Admissibility of HGN

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that the

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test does meet

the Frye standard and is admissible at a trial to

prove the charge of driving under the influence

(DUI). The Court issued its ruling on February 19,

2010, nearly 2 ½ years after its original decision that

HGN was subject to a Frye hearing.

Peoria County conducted the Frye hearing after

the Illinois Supreme Court ruling. The hearing

was held to determine whether the HGN test is

generally accepted in the scientific community as

a reliable indicator of alcohol impairment. The

trial court ruled that: (1) HGN satisfies the Frye

standard; (2) HGN is only one component of field

sobriety testing and is admissible on the issue of

alcohol or drug impairment; (3) a proper foundation

for testimony regarding HGN includes evidence

of adequate training and experience and that the

test given was done in accordance with training

and proper procedures; (4) the results should be

“limited to the conclusion that a ‘failed’ test suggests

that the subject may have consumed alcohol and

may have been under the influence.” Attempts to

correlate results with a blood alcohol content (BAC)

are not admissible; and (5) “in conjunction with

other evidence, HGN may be used as a part of the

police officer’s opinion that the subject [was] under

the influence and impaired.” The Supreme Court

upheld all of these findings.

Adequate Training & Experience/Compliance

with Protocols

Experts in this case from both the prosecution and

defense testified that when performed according

to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s

(NHTSA) standards, HGN is an indicator of

alcohol consumption and central nervous system

depression (i.e., impairment). The Supreme Court

stated that as a result of the universal reliance upon

the NHTSA standard that the finding of admissibility

was necessarily predicated upon the test being

performed according to the NHTSA protocol

by a properly trained officer. The first part of a

foundation to admit HGN into evidence, then, will be

the officer’s training. The second part will be that

the test was performed in accordance with those


The NHTSA standards are found in the course and

manual titled “DWI Detection and Standardized

Field Sobriety Testing,” revised 2/06. All accredited

police academies teaching recruits are required to

teach DUI enforcement and follow this curriculum.

Even if the academy puts its own cover page on

this manual, the recruit is receiving the training

necessary to meet the evidentiary foundation. This

class is 24 hours long and includes classroom

lecture, practical examinations, and the opportunity

to practice the protocol, either through a live

“drinking lab” or through video observation of

impaired individuals. This class is also offered

as continuing education by the Mobile Training

Units throughout Illinois. They, too, are required

to teach the entire 24 hour course and follow the

NHTSA manual. Additionally, officers may have

opportunities to attend one day “refresher” classes

or other advanced DUI detection classes. These

classes are also predicated on NHTSA’s “DWI

Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing”

and follow the protocol for HGN testing accurately.

Both the prosecutor and the law enforcement officer

must be aware of this foundation and be able to

testify to it appropriately when introducing HGN

evidence. All police agencies and state’s attorney’s

offices should have a copy of the most recent

manual, be able to recognize it if used in court,

understand the protocol, and testify to the protocol.

This manual can be attained free of charge by

contacting the State’s Traffic Safety Resource

Prosecutor and SFST/DRE Program Coordinator

(contact information below) or by downloading

it from the Illinois State Police website. In order

for the finder of fact to give the HGN the weight

it deserves, time and care should be taken when

laying the foundation for adequate training and


11 CAUTION!-Spring 2010

Likewise, prosecutors must elicit and officers must

provide detail of how the test was administered

during the investigation that is a result of the

charge. The test has three distinct phases: (1)

Check of the eyes to determine possible medical

impairment (equal pupil size, resting nystagmus

and equal tracking); (2) Assessment for the

three clues – lack of smooth pursuit, distinct and

sustained nystagmus at maximum deviation, and

onset of nystagmus prior to a 45 degree angle; (3)

Assessment for vertical gaze nystagmus. Each of

these phases should be completed in its entirety.

The only exception is that if the first phase reveals

a possible medical condition, then the rest of

the test should not be done at all. Vertical gaze

nystagmus was not addressed in the McKown

decision; however, the court stressed the need

to conduct the test in accordance with NHTSA


Misrepresentation of the Decision & HGN

Protocols and Answers

Defense attorneys have a history of taking carefully

chosen statements out of the SFST manual to use

to their advantage. They have taken many of the

court’s statements from the McKown decision out

of context to minimize its ruling in an attempt to

pronounce a victory for them.

So, what are these misstatements and how can

they be rectified? A common comment is that the

McKown decision has “severely limited” the State’s

use of HGN evidence. The truth is that the court

upheld exactly what the State asked for. So long

as an officer testifies to his or her adequate training

and proper administration of the test, it comes into

evidence and the officer can indicate he or she

relied upon it with all the other evidence to form an

opinion that the defendant was under the influence

of alcohol. Another spin is the suggestion that

HGN is limited in that an officer may only say that

he or she used it as an indicator that the subject

may have been drinking alcohol and may have

been impaired. This is certainly the first part of it;

however, this is not the only way the officer can rely

upon it, as discussed above. The fact of the matter

is HGN is typically the first of the three test battery.

However, the officer likely has made a number

of other observations that go toward alcohol

impairment by the time this test is conducted. As

the Supreme Court said, one brick does not make

a wall. HGN is part of the total overall picture of the

DUI investigation.

12 CAUTION!-Spring 2010

In an effort to exclude HGN testimony, the defense

may rely upon certain statements taken from the

SFST manual to an even greater degree than

occurred before the McKown case. There is a

statement in the manual, that when taken out of

context, would lead a fact-finder to the conclusion

that if there is any deviation from the protocol, the

validity of the test is compromised. This statement

appears in bold letters on page 19 of section VIII

of the manual. The sentence reads, “if any one

of these standardized field sobriety test elements

is changed, then the validity is compromised.”

However, that applies only: (1) When the tests

are administered in the prescribed standardized

manner; (2) The standardized clues are used to

assess the suspect’s performance; and (3) The

standardized criteria are employed to interpret

the performance. If the defense tries to use this

last sentence to the defendant’s advantage, the

rest of this section should be brought to the factfinder’s

attention. Further, it should be noted that it

does not state anywhere in the participant manual

that the test must be performed in the standing

position, nor does the McKown decision make this

conclusion. In fact, the SFST instructor manual

gives tips to have a taller suspect in the seated

position so the officer can see the eyes better. If all

else fails, a witness should be guided to the preface

of the SFST manual, “even when administered

under less than ideal conditions, [the SFSTs] will

generally serve as valid and useful indicators of


In sum, the McKown decision puts to rest a difficult

time for DUI investigations and prosecutions.

Hopefully, DUI investigations have continued to

include the HGN test, regardless of its admissibility.

The test now should be used at the roadside

and incorporated into prosecutions as part of a

complete and thorough determination of a DUI

charge. It is the totality of the circumstances that

will overcome any excuses or ‘explanations’ the

defense might bring forth in fighting a DUI charge.

Successful investigations and prosecutions will

save lives. We should use every tool available to

ensure that success.

For information on HGN, the SFSTs or other

aspects of DUI investigation and prosecution,

please contact Elizabeth Earleywine, Traffic Safety

Resource Prosecutor & SFST/DRE Program

Coordinator at Elizabeth.Earleywine@illinois.gov.

By Elizabeth Earleywine, Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor



The Child Passenger Safety (CPS) program in

Illinois had the distinct honor of ending 2009 with

one of the highest CPS technician recertification

rates in the country. Nationwide, about 55.5

percent of eligible technicians recertified while

Illinois had a recertification rate of 63.4 percent.

Not only was this one of the highest rates in the

country but it also represented a 14.9 percent

increase from 2008. The increase was due in

part to the decision by the Illinois Child Passenger

Safety Board to offer more than 20 localized CPS

Update Classes offered by the regional occupant

protection coordinators rather than at a statewide


Technicians interested in attending a workshop in

2010 will receive all six continuing education credits

needed for recertification. Registration information

can be obtained online at:

www.buckleupillinois.org/opportunities.html or

by contacting a regional occupant protection

coordinator. Cost is $15 for early-bird registration

and $25 for late registration. Many classes have

limited space so early registration is recommended.

By Jennifer Toney, State Occupant Protection Coordinator

The localized plan worked so well in 2009 that it

will continue into 2010 but with more assistance

from CPS instructors across the state. More than

80 CPS instructors attended a train-the-trainer

workshop in Rosemont, Illinois on February 3-4,

2010. Representatives from Britax, Combi, Kiddy

USA, and First Year’s provided a brief overview

on their updated products and websites on

February 3rd. Sarah Tilton of Britax and Vera

Fullaway of Combi also provided a more general

presentation on new technologies in car seats for

all manufacturers. On February 4, instructors were

given a preview of the presentations for 2010.

The Illinois CPS Advisory Board worked with Safe

Kids Worldwide to select the topics for 2010 which

include Pregnancy and Motor Vehicle Crashes,

Overweight Children and CPS, Fact or Fiction, and

Doing Recalls Right as well as hands-on time with

new car seats.

13 CAUTION!-Spring 2010



In its fifth year, the Illinois Work Zone Safety

Calendar Contest is still raising awareness about

work zone safety to elementary students around

the state. Every year this contest reaches more

students in kindergarten through sixth grade. This

year 1,400 students participated in this contest, but

only 12 could be chosen as the 2009-2010 Illinois

Work Zone Safety Calendar Contest winners.

These 12 elementary students know and

understand the importance of work zone safety and

will help the Illinois Department of Transportation’s,

Division of Traffic Safety (IDOT/DTS) relay the

message to the motoring public. The 12 finalists

will have their drawings displayed in the 2011

Illinois Work Zone Safety Calendar. This year’s

work zone safety campaign is titled See Orange.

Slow Down. Save Lives.

IDOT/DTS, along with the Illinois State Board

of Education American Traffic Safety Services

Foundation and the Illinois Chapter of the American

Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA),

coordinated the statewide calendar contest for

elementary students.

The contest is sponsored by:

• Illinois Radio Network

• Amtrak

• Midwest Region Laborers

• Southern Illinois Construction

Advancement Program

• COUNTRY Financial

The 12 finalists will be honored at an awards

ceremony on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at the

Illinois State Museum in Springfield. Each winner

will receive prizes and promotional items from the

contest sponsors.

The top six winners’ drawings were sent to ATSSA’s

national contest in March to vie for a spot in its

national calendar. If any of these students win the

national contest, they will be announced at the

awards ceremony.

The purpose of the contest is for students to help

IDOT/DTS promote work zone safety by becoming

aware of work zones and encourage their parents

or caregivers about the importance of driving safely

in work zones.

The contest began last fall with elementary schools

around the state submitting childrens’ drawings

that portrayed their view of a work zone. Each

school chose four entries from each category

and submitted them to IDOT/DTS. The contest

categories consisted of K-1st grade, 2nd-4th grade

and 5th-6th grade.

The Department received 108 entries and these

entries were given to three judges who narrowed

them down to 32. From there, the top 32 drawings

were sent to a panel of six judges, who then

selected the final 12 contestants. Each entry was

judged on a series of questions to determine if the

entry portrayed a work zone and if the student had

a clear understanding of a work zone.

By introducing children at an early age to safe

driving practices, IDOT/DTS hopes to instill a

lifelong awareness of work zone hazards and

foster safe driving behavior in the future. Teachers

or parents who are interested in entering their

students or children in the 2010-2011 calendar

contest can contact IDOT/DTS’s contest

coordinator, Jessica Keldermans at 217/785-3062.

By Jessica Keldermans, Work Zone Safety Calendar Contest

Coordinator/Acting Bureau Chief of Safety Data & Data Services

14 CAUTION!-Spring 2010


Grade 1

Pleasant Valley School

Peoria, IL






Grade 1

Pleasant Valley School

Peoria, IL


Grade 1

Pleasant Valley School

Peoria, IL


Grade 1

Benton Grade School

Benton, IL


Grade 2

Beacon Hill Primary Center

Chicago Heights, IL


Grade 2

21st Century Preparatory Center

Park Forest, IL


Grade 4

Pleasant Valley School

Peoria, IL


Grade 4

Pleasant Valley School

Peoria, IL


Grade 6

Pleasant Valley School

Peoria, IL


Grade 6

Robert Healy School

Chicago, IL


Grade 5

Pleasant Valley School

Peoria, IL

15 CAUTION!-Spring 2010


Grade 6

St. Mary’s School

Dixon, IL





How many times have you been stopped at an

intersection for a red light during rush hour waiting

for the light to turn green when on-coming traffic gets

a green arrow and proceeds to block the intersection

in front of you because traffic on the road they are

turning onto is backed up? You cannot pull forward,

you are stuck for another light cycle and the problem


Traffic congestion is unfortunately a way of life for

many commuters. Since we started keeping records

on traffic congestion about 20 years ago, our

roadways are more crowded than they have ever

been. The effects of gridlock grow every day with

traffic on all roadways nearing record levels.

Much of this gridlock can be attributed to people

“Blocking the Box.” “Blocking the box” is when a

motorist enters an intersection but is unable to get

through the intersection before the light turns red,

thus blocking the intersecting streets’ traffic from

proceeding once the light turns green.

When you block the box, you are not getting to your

destination any faster. Instead, you are preventing

other people from getting to theirs. You are

needlessly tying up traffic and causing congestion

thus invading the rights of other people.

Blocking the box also prevents emergency vehicles

(ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars) from

reaching people in distress which can result in


Reasonable steps can be taken to ease the

congestion. Motorists should drive responsibly and

obey all traffic laws. Pedestrians should do the

same and refrain from jaywalking and disrupting


Illinois law prohibits blocking the intersection.

Drivers are not supposed to enter an intersection

unless they can safely pass completely through it

before the light turns red.

So the next time you come to an intersection with a

yellow light, or a green light but the street ahead is

already full of cars . . . stop, relax, and wait for the

intersection to clear before proceeding, even if that

means waiting for the next green light. “Don’t Block

the Box!”

By Sergeant Scott Kristiansen -Traffic Unit

16 CAUTION!-Spring 2010

Free Traffic Safety Courses

~for Veterans and Senior Citizens~

Increased traffic and new technologies have

created a bevy of traffic-related issues. The Illinois

Department of Transportation’s, Division of Traffic

Safety is now offering free traffic safety courses to

veterans and senior citizens. Both groups have

seen many changes in traffic patterns over the

years. Speed limits have increased, more vehicles

are on the road, vehicles themselves have changed

and new traffic safety issues have emerged-like

sharing the road with distracted drivers. The

courses allow participants to learn and discuss

new laws and changes involving traffic. They also

cover a range of topics including safe driving while

aging, aggressive driving, distracted driving, drunk

driving and occupant protection. The primary goal

of the courses is to provide veterans and senior

citizens with a renewed knowledge and sense of

confidence while driving.

In order to take advantage of this opportunity, and

for more information, please contact:

Roy L. Dolgos

Phone: (217) 785-1182

E-mail Roy.L.Dolgos@illinois.gov.

By Kristen Chiaro, Editor-in-Chief

17 CAUTION!-Spring 2010

PSA’s Promote Motorcycle Safety!

On March 28th, 2010, the Illinois Department of

Transportation’s, Division of Traffic Safety (IDOT/

DTS) formed an epic partnership with professional

mixed martial artist Matt Hughes. Hughes, a nine

time welter weight champion from the Ultimate

Fighting Championship on the Spike TV Network,

was featured in two public service announcements

(PSAs) to increase motorcycle safety awareness.

In the PSAs, Matt, a cautious rider and proud

motorcycle owner, reminds riders to always wear

the proper riding gear and never drink and ride. He

also warns motorists to start seeing motorcycles.

The fan base of the rapidly growing sport of mixed

martial arts is primarily comprised of male fans

aged 18 years or older; the same demographic

most likely to be involved in a motorcycle crash.

Dale’s Harley Davidson dealership in Mt. Vernon

graciously allowed IDOT/DTS to utilize its facility

and services to assist in creating the two PSA’s

featuring Matt Hughes.

In addition, the third PSA will feature motorcycle

crash victim David Waters. David utilizes his tragic

experience to remind motorists to start seeing

motorcycles and know their surroundings. David

was a Springfield firefighter before his motorcycle

crash that resulted in the amputation of his right leg.

For the complete story, David’s testimonial is found

in the Fall 2009 issue of CAUTION at:


Three press conferences will be conducted

statewide in late April introducing the 2010

Motorcycle Safety Campaign. The media

campaigns will begin airing on cable television and

radio outlets from May 3rd-September 5th.

By Josh Kaufmann, Marketing Communications Coordinator

18 CAUTION!-Spring 2010



The Mobile Capture and Reporting (MCR) program

is a method of simplifying crash reporting for

police agencies which allows for more accurate

crash data received by the Illinois Department of

Transportation’s, Division of Traffic Safety (IDOT/

DTS), thus allowing overall improvements in traffic

safety. The program began with a few participating

police departments and has significantly grown due

to the ease of reporting.

The Grundy County Sheriff’s Office became an

MCR partner during the pilot phase 2005. Since

then, every crash report generated by a Grundy

County Sheriff’s Deputy arrives at IDOT/DTS

electronically. Annually, they submit more than

250 crash reports to IDOT/DTS. In 2007, Grundy

County was awarded an MCR In-Car Printer Grant.

The in-car printers allow the patrol division to

immediately print the driver’s exchange information

and make it available to motorists at the crash

scene. According to Grundy County Sheriff’s

Sergeant Jeff Cole, “MCR simplifies the entire data

entry process for crash reporting. It allows the

Deputy to locate a crash based on the longitude

and latitude of the location and provides the ability

to import driver’s license information directly from

the Secretary of State’s database. The MCR

program also includes a crash diagramming tool

that eliminates the need for a deputy to hand-draw

the diagram in a crash report. This tool alone

saves a considerable amount of time.”

The previous paper SR-1050 crash reports were

often submitted to IDOT/DTS with errors. The MCR

system validates the crash report and corrects

errors before the report is electronically submitted

to IDOT/DTS, resulting in more accurate crash


Detective Michael Mann from the Gurnee

Police Department worked with MCR’s records

management to establish an interface that

imports crash data into a database that stores

the department’s vital records. IDOT/DTS then

compiles the crash data into an Access database

and posts it to a password protected ftp site for the

department to download into its database.

“The interface drastically cut down on the data

entry time.” Mann said the department previously

utilized clerks to enter the crash report data into the

database. “The clerks’ attention can be focused

elsewhere now. The program is a low cost solution.

The only thing we have to purchase is paper for the


MCR staff also provides support to participating

police departments. Recently Chief Richard

Adams of the Kincaid Police Department traveled

to Springfield to receive formal MCR training. The

Kincaid Police Department submits about a dozen

reports per year and responds to calls in three

nearby rural communities. MCR support staff

helped Adams program the GPS mapping system

in his squad car to work with MCR. Chief Adams

said, “The GPS integration will allow me to pinpoint

my exact location in these rural communities.”

MCR staff is currently developing a web based

reporting system with electronic citation capabilities

which will further simplify crash reporting. This

technology will also allow MCR staff to provide

even better service to users.

Support for MCR, like the program, is free. The

MCR program is establishing a toll free line that will

support officers 24/7. Currently, MCR provides 14

hours of support each weekday and eight hours on

both days of the weekend.

For MCR questions or to obtain the free software

for your department, please call the MCR support

line at 217-558-2899 or e-mail the support team at


By Kristi Edwards, Acting MCR Statewide Program Coordinator

19 CAUTION!-Spring 2010

Saving Children...

Saving Families...

John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital

Stroger Hospital in Cook County has been a leader

in making children safe by providing child safety

seats to those in need. They began providing

seats in 1991 before Illinois had child safety seat

laws because very few patients in the area had

the resources to buy child safety seats. Stroger

Hospital staff received a huge response from the

community and saw a need to help their program

grow. They began by selling child safety seats at a

very low cost to qualified patients. Retired teachers

and librarians volunteered to run the program.

Approximately 500 seats were sold in the first year.

As the program grew, assistance was needed

to continue providing seats. In 1992, the Illinois

Department of Transportation’s, Division of Traffic

Safety (IDOT/DTS) funded the child safety seat

program which allowed funding for a bilingual

certified child passenger safety seat technician.

Stroger Hospital patients (92 percent minority) are

a population who were not using child safety seats.

This program saved lives and families. Saving one

child from a severe head injury saves a family, a

child and the State of Illinois millions of dollars in

after injury and long term care.

The program has since expanded to include

outlying communities and clinics, quadrupling the

number of participants in eight years. The program

is now in its 18th year supplying child safety seats

and training parents and loved ones on how to keep

their children safe. None of this would have been

possible without the support of IDOT/DTS.

By Demetra Soter, MD Pediatrician, Director of Car Seat Program

20 CAUTION!-Spring 2010

96th General Assembly



HB 4769:

Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code to allow the use

of non-reflective tint that allows at least 50 percent

light transmittance installed by the manufacturer on

windows to the rear of the driver.

HB 4776:

Amends the Unified Code of Corrections, provides

rules and regulations on early release for a prisoner

serving a sentence for aggravated DUI resulting

in great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement

to another; he/she shall receive no more than 4.5

days of good conduct credit for each month of their


HB 4779:

Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code, in addition to

other fines or penalties required by the law, any

person convicted of reckless driving or excess

speeding of 40mph over the designated limit and

resulted in appropriate emergency response, he/

she is required to make restitution to such agency

for the cost of that emergency response not to

exceed $1000.

HB 4859:

Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code, providing that

in certain undue hardship cases where a person’s

driving privileges have been revoked or suspended,

the Secretary of State may issue a restricted driving

permit allowing that person to transport children and

elderly or disabled persons to and from day care

who do not hold driving privileges and who live in

the person’s household.

HB 4969:

Amends the Criminal Code of 1963, provides that

all reasonable and necessary force may be used

when executing a search warrant for the taking of

blood, hair or other materials from a person’s body

when the warrant is for resisting execution of the

search warrant.

HB 5095:

Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code by creating

the Pedestrians with Disabilities Safety Act in

efforts to protect pedestrians with disabilities by

granting them certain rights when using streets and


HB 5285:

This bill would increase certain fees assessed by

circuit clerks against those who plea or are found

guilty of certain serious crimes under the Illinois

Vehicle Code; the current fine is increased from $20

to $40.

HB 5341:

Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code providing that

a person who accompanies or instructs a minor

driving a motor vehicle pursuant to an instruction

permit and is under the influence of alcohol, drugs

or intoxicating compounds violates the regulations

governing the movement of motor vehicles or is

guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, depending on the


HB 6141:

This bill adds $100 penalty for violating certain

sections in the Illinois statues for missing a court

date and has had a warrant issued for their arrest.

Of that $100 fine, $95 goes to the agency bringing

in the offender and $5 to the court clerk.

21 CAUTION!-Spring 2010




SB 2535:

Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code

by requiring every operator and

passenger on a motorcycle, motor

driven cycle or moped under the

age of 18 to wear a helmet that

meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety

Standard #218 and is properly

fastened under the person’s chin

with a strap.

SB 2566:

Would allow a person to drive or

operate certain non-highway vehicles

on county and township roadways

for purposes of farming operations to

and from home and farm buildings or

any adjacent/nearby farm land.

SB 2951:

The bill would criminalize the driving

of a motor vehicle too closely to

a bicyclist, pedestrian or person

riding a horse or horse drawn

vehicle. Makes the violation a class

A misdemeanor or a class 4 felony

in the case of great bodily harm or

permanent disability/disfigurement.

SB 3029:

Amends the Criminal Code of 1961,

relating to the forfeiture of vehicles

for various DUI offenses; describes

the offenses rather than cross

referencing the clauses of the DUI


22 CAUTION!-Spring 2010

SB 3390:

Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code

by including the exact ratio for

converting blood serum/blood

plasma alcohol levels to the whole

blood equivalent, for grams of

alcohol per 100ml of blood.

SB 3775:

Would give the Illinois SOS

responsibility of the courts by

granting them the authority to issue

Monitoring Driving Device Permits

(MDDP) to first time DUI offenders.

SB 3795:

Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code by

changing the hours an 18 year old

with a learners permit is allowed to

drive from 10:30pm until 6:00am on

Friday and Saturday nights.

SB 3796:

Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code

to provide that a person driving

in excess of 30mph but less than

40mph over the posted speed limit

commits a Class B misdemeanor.

By Mason T. McDaniel, Legislative Coordinator-

Division of Traffic Safety




Assistant Secretary


Director, Traffic Safety



Deputy Director, Traffic Safety










Design and Layout












Contributing Writers






217/782-5597 – Springfield

312/793-2242 – Chicago

























© 2010 Illinois Department of Transportation


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