PetersLakeMichiganLifesavingSpringfield - Piers and public access points to Lake Michigan will soon be safer thanks to a measure advanced by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) that will help install essential rescue equipment.

“All people deserve to feel safe when they head to the beach this summer,” Peters said. “This is an essential step that we need to take to keep our families safe on Lake Michigan.” 

House Bill 4165 requires owners of a pier or drop-off on Lake Michigan to install public rescue equipment such as life- saving rings and buoyant lines.  The measure also establishes tracking and reporting requirements for local governments that own a pier or drop-off on Lake Michigan.

Nationally, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 5, the second leading cause for children under 15, and the third leading cause for people under 30. 

The measure originated from a controversy between residents of the Rogers Park neighborhood and the Chicago Park District over a lack of life saving rings on lakefront piers.  After 19-year old Miguel Cisneros drowned last summer, residents installed a life-saving ring on the lakefront pier, which was subsequently removed by the Chicago Park District, creating significant tension in the community.

“We have had too many tragic and, in many cases, preventable deaths on Lake Michigan,” Peters said. “This is a long overdue safety measure that will help make all of us safer when we enjoy the lake this summer.” 

The measure passed the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday.

Category: Press Releases

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