022124CM1264SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons’ measure to make rail travel safer for residents in response to the 2023 Chicago Transit Authority Yellow Line crash in his district was signed into law on Monday.

“This legislation is in direct response to the horrific CTA Yellow Line collision last fall,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “So many people rely on public transportation, and as a lifelong user of Chicago public transit, I know how important it is to make sure our transit systems are held accountable to provide the most safe riding conditions possible. This law will prevent tragedies from happening through accountability required of our transit organizations.”

Simmons spearheaded the law in response to a driver of a CTA Yellow Line train colliding with a snowplow on Nov. 16, 2023 in Rogers Park. When the operator saw the machine, they hit the brakes and the emergency brakes, but the train didn't stop in time, hitting the snowplow at 27 mph. According to National Transportation Safety Board reports, there was a design flaw in the Yellow Line braking system.

Simmons’ law will mandate annual reports from the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Regional Transit Authority, the Chicago Transit Authority and Metra detailing rail safety recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board made in the past 12 months and the status of their implementation by Dec. 31 each year.

“The Yellow Line crash could have been avoided,” said Simmons. “Now, with the introduction of this new mandatory annual report, CTA and other transit organizations will have to be more transparent about improving safety measures year after year, giving peace of mind to riders that our transit systems are reliable and will safely get them to where they are going.”

Senate Bill 3451 takes effect on July 1, 2024.