Dangerous Driving Behaviors Increasing
City staff offered several options for Naperville City Council to address the increase in dangerous driving behaviors around town.
At the April 6 City Council meeting, members of the public and Police Chief Bob Marshall noted there has been an increase in street racing, vehicles fleeing from police traffic stops, and loud mufflers over the past several months. He said it’s a citywide issue, but especially in the area of Downtown Naperville, on Aurora Avenue, and in parking decks.
Plans Already in Place
At council’s April 20 meeting, staff had a number of options to mitigate those concerns. That report
noted a few things the police department is already doing, like refocusing efforts on traffic stops in the downtown area, increasing police presence in areas where citizens have issued complaints, collecting speed data in these areas, and closing the top level of the Van Buren parking deck. The upper level of the Water Street parking deck was closed in September 2020 due to continued vandalism there. The city will install a gate and fencing to mitigate future damage at the Van Buren deck.
Council unanimously agreed to implement one change at the meeting – increasing the administrative tow fee from $300 to $500. That means if a vehicle is used in connection with a crime and impounded, the vehicle owner will pay an additional $200. The report states that better reflects the costs to the city to impound vehicles.
Future Options to Stop Violations
Other options within the report that council could enact in the future include:
- installing speed bumps in Downtown Naperville
- closing select downtown streets
- enacting an ordinance to allow the towing of vehicles with loud mufflers
- installing license plate reader technology downtown and in other strategic areas
- lobby for legislative changes at the state level to reclassify loud muffler violations to moving violations
- explore state-level legislation to allow for speed cameras to be installed in Naperville. In Illinois, speed cameras are currently only allowed in the City of Chicago.
City council could take action on some of these suggestions at future city council meetings.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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