In the August 9, 2018 issue of the Herscher Pilot, personal stories were shared by many who had been injured, had miraculously escaped injury, or were family members of those who died as a result of a crash at the intersection of Lehigh Road and Illinois Route 115.
In nearly all of the instances, the person causing the crash had only been issued a citation for failure to yield at a stopped intersection.
Since that time, discussion and awareness of the dangers of rural intersections have increased as well.
Last fall, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Kankakee County Highway Department and county and state law enforcement met with State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst about the LeHigh and IL 115 intersection and what could be done to prevent accidents.
These additional safety measures at the intersection have been added:
• Three sets of rumble strips leading to the stop signs on Lehigh Road.
• Double stop signs at the intersection along with an information sign that cross traffic does not stop.
• Information signs with red flags attached that warn of the upcoming stop signs.
• Stop bars have been painted on the pavement at the stops on each side of Lehigh Road.
• Flashing yellow LED lights to the stop signs at the intersection last December.
Parkhurst has recently introduced legislation to suspend a driver's license for a year if a motorist is convicted of causing serious injuries or the death of a person in crashes as a result of failing to yield the right of way.
“Many constituents complained about serious injuries occurring in these collisions where only a small traffic fine was imposed,” Parkhurst stated.
On Wednesday, March 27, Parkhurst presented her bill to the House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety committee.
The proposed legislation provides someone convicted of failing to yield the right of way that causes a serious injury to have their driver’s license suspended for one year without administrative hearing.
It addresses crashes like those that have occurred in the past few years at Lehigh Road and Illinois Route 115. On Aug. 22, 2018, Knorr, 24, of rural Clifton, died when his pickup truck traveling westbound of Clifton Slab (2950N Road) was involved in a crash with a semi traveling northbound on Lehigh, which continues into Iroquois County as 700E Road.
Mason’s Law is named after Mason Knorr, who died as a result of a collision at Lehigh and 2950N in Iroquois County for the same reasons as the collisions at Illinois Route 115, Parkhurst said.
“Mason’s Law came from the request of the surviving family of Mason Knorr,” Parkhurst said. “Unfortunately, there are many collisions along Lehigh Road, especially by State Route 115, where trucks or other travelers do not yield the right of way and cause very serious injuries and even death as was the case of Mason Knorr.