life saving ringSpringfield- 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.

“Everyone deserves to feel safe when they head to the beach this summer,” Peters said. “I am glad that the General Assembly is taking an essential step to protect our families who visit beaches  on Lake Michigan.”

House Bill 4165 requires owners of  piers or drop-offs on Lake Michigan to install public rescue equipment .  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.  There are significant disparities between Black and white populations in drowning death rates, with African American males from ages 15 to 19 facing the highest per-capita rates of drowning. 

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.

“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 on Tuesday.  It now heads to the governor’s desk.

Category: Press Releases

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