Contact: Chief Weitzel tweitzel@riverside.il.us 708.447.2127 - Follow RPD on Twitter @pdriverside

Riverside Police Issue Seven Citation to Motorists who Avoid Direction from Officer
During gas leak in Brookfield, motorists continue to disobey
multiple signs to conform with traffic enforcement
On Friday, August 8, 2014, the Village of Brookfield had a major gas leak on 31st Street west of First
Avenue at the area of the entrance to the north gate of the Brookfield Zoo. The Brookfield Police
Department requested assistance for traffic control from many agencies including Riverside. Riverside
had officers respond to First and Forest and 31st and First to assist with traffic control.
A Riverside Police Officer was assigned to 31st and First and set up his squad car on 31st east of First
Avenue in the westbound lanes. The vehicle was angled to the right so it would force cars to go
northbound on First Avenue. The car was positioned as a fully marked police car with the lights flashing.
The officer put out numerous cones east of his location to force traffic into a single lane so that motorists
would not either continue westbound on 31st or south on First. During his assignment, which was 4½
hours, motorists continuously disobeyed the officer and blatantly went around the officer and tried to go
westbound on 31st Street. Seven different motorists disobeyed the officer, squad car, cones, and
additional police officers that were out in the area in traffic vests. Seven of the motorists completely went
around the squad car into oncoming traffic. They also got out of their cars and attempted to move the
barricades at 31st and First so they could continue to go westbound 31st. After they did this, they traveled
about 100 feet and realized that they could not go any farther because fire equipment had the street
completely blocked along with Nicor Gas equipment.
Riverside Police issued seven citations to motorists that blatantly disregarded the officer. They were
sometimes screaming and yelling at him to allow them to go westbound 31st Street. Both males and
females from several communities including Lemont, La Grange, Brookfield, Clarendon Hills, Oakbrook,
were issued traffic citations for disobeying a traffic control device.
Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel stated, “This just demonstrates really how hazardous traffic
enforcement is on a major roadway. We had several officers in marked cars, lights flashing, and standing
outside their cars in yellow traffic vests with traffic cones assisting motorists as to what direction to go.
Seven motorists took it upon themselves to get out of their cars, attempt to move barricades, and continue
31 Riverside Road, Riverside, IL 60546
westbound on 31
street. When they got there, they realized that they couldn’t go any further and that
was why the barricades were set up in the first place. These motorists put not only themselves at risk but
workers at the scene of the gas leak in Brookfield and police personnel in addition to other motorists.
Motorists simply have to listen to the officers’ direction. I can assure you the officers are not assigned
there to make anyone’s life miserable. They are put there to assist in keeping the scene of the incident
safe and assisting motorists in getting around the closed-off area.”