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Indiana Ranks First In Out-Of-State Chicago Parking Tickets

Parking Ticket 101 photoDNA Info has been crunching the numbers on Chicago parking tickets recently.

And after going through info on nearly 5 million Chicago parking tickets issued over the past two years, they keep digging up interesting tidbits of data.

In their most recent revelation, they focused on out-of-state drivers.

According to the data, 90% of the tickets issued were to vehicles with Illinois plates with the other 10% going to out-of-state vehicles.

New Radar Gun Detects Drivers Texting Behind The Wheel

Photo credit: HansFreeInfo.com

Photo credit: HansFreeInfo.com

Texting on a cellphone while driving is against the law in Illinois.

As unsafe as that practice is, many drivers still do it.

However, it’s very hard for law enforcement to catch motorists who are texting behind the wheel.

But that might be changing.

That’s because a Virgina-based company named ComSonics is getting ready to release a radar gun like device that can detect when drivers are texting according to Auto Evolution.

ComSonics says the frequencies emitted when a phone is sending a text message have a different signature than when a phone is being used to download data or make a call.

The manufacturer utilized the same technology used by cable television technicians to detect breaks in cables in this new product.

While the product is not on the market yet, Comsonics says it should be available soon.

Texting while behind the wheel is banned in 31 one states including Illinois.

Here’s the full story, “A Radar Gun that Catches Driver Texting Is in Development.”

Group: Drivers Not Stopping For Pedestrians At Crosswalks

A sign in Evanston reminds drivers to stop when pedestrians are present.

A sign in Evanston reminds drivers to stop when pedestrians are present.

Despite a state law that’s been on the books for four years, most Chicago drivers are not stopping at crosswalks when pedestrians are crossing street according to the Active Transportation Alliance.

The group conducted a recent survey that it says shows only 18% of motorists stop to allow a pedestrian within a marked crosswalk to walk across the street. The survey claims that percentage drops dramatically at unmarked crosswalks plunging to just 5% of the time. The law requires vehicles to stop for pedestrians crossing the street within a crosswalk whether marked or not.

“Many people are unaware of the law and believe that cars only have to stop for pedestrians when there is a ‘stop for pedestrians’ sign at the crosswalk, and these signs led to much higher compliance in our survey,” said Burke. “But we aren’t going to get ‘must stop’ signs at every crosswalk, so it’s important that the public learn about this law.”

The survey conducted by Active Trans was made up of 208 attempts to cross the street at 52 locations within the city and nearby suburban towns.

The group’s research found that drivers complied with the law at painted crosswalks with enhanced safety features like “Stop For Pedestrian” signs, brick, stone or raised crosswalks or even flashing lights.

Active Trans says 90 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the metro Chicago area in 2012.

“Stepping into a crosswalk in Chicago is an invitation to be run over,” said Bob Gallo, state director of AARP Illinois which worked with Active Trans in 2009 to pass the Must Stop for Pedestrians Law. “Unfortunately, this is especially true for older residents who are more likely to be injured or killed than pedestrians of all other ages.”

In their effort to have more motorists complying with the law and stopping at crosswalks, the group is pushing statewide education programs akin to the “Click it or Ticket” campaign using billboards, public service announcements and ads to get the word out.

In addition, Active Trans wants more enforcement similar to what the Chicago Police Department does from time to time in their crosswalk enforcement initiatives where they ticket drivers who don’t stop for pedestrians.

Burke admits that most drivers are just ignorant of the law and believes most motorists would obey it if they were aware the law existed. He thinks as more drivers start stopping for pedestrians, things will eventually reach a critical mass where drivers will almost always stop at crosswalks.

“Driving behavior is contagious,” said Burke from Active Trans. “Once a significant percentage of motorists begin to stop for pedestrians, you’ll see it catch on and become the norm like it is in other states.”

Ald. Beale Proposes Raising Speed Limit To Combat Speed Cameras

50,000 drivers have received speed camera tickets near 127th Street and Eggleston–the site of Major Taylor bike trail.

Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) and other residents believe the large volume of tickets being issued there can be attributed to what they say is an abrupt change in the speed limit between where drivers exit the Bishop Ford Expressway where the limit is 35 mph and where the speed camera is located a few blocks away where the limit drops to 30.

Ex-Redflex CEO Pleads Not Guilty In Bribery Scandal

Redflex logoOn Wednesday, former CEO for Redflex Traffic Systems Karen Finley pleaded not guilty to multiple counts of bribery and fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bribery in federal court.

According to the Associated Press, each count carries up to a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Finley is the third of three charged by federal authorities in connection with an alleged bribery scheme . Allegedly Redflex funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars via a middle man to the person who oversaw Chicago’s red light camera program in return for securing and maintaining the city RLC contract.

Former Chicago Department of Transportation manager John Bills, who is also under indictment and pleaded not guilty the week before, allegedly was given cash, gifts, tickets to sporting events, a car, computers and even a condo in Arizona (the home state for Redflex’s U.S. division) for greasing the skids for the red light camera company.

Residents, Alderman Say South Side Speed Camera A Ticket Trap

Residents of the McKinley Park neighborhood say a new speed camera is not only a blatant speed trap to generate revenue, but is not near a park or school.

According DNA Info, the Mulberry Playlot Park can’t be seen from Archer Avenue, but that didn’t stop the city from installing a red light camera there.

To make things even worse, the speed limit on this busy thoroughfare is set at just 25 mph–five mph lower than the standard city speed limit of 30 mph. Just for reference, the vast majority of main four lane city streets and residential or side streets is 30 mph.

Ohio Streeet Bridge Project Will Close Lanes, Ramps This Weekend

Road Construction AheadThe Illinois Department of Transportation is warning drivers using the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) to be aware of several lane and ramp closures this weekend.

As part of the ongoing Ohio Street Bridge project, the reversible express lanes will be closed all weekend and the westbound Ontario Street feeder ramp will be closed starting at 10 PM Friday, September 5th.

Drivers needing to go westbound will be detoured eastbound to the Taylor Street exit and then directed to re-enter the expressway there going westbound.

The express lanes will re-open by 7 AM Sunday morning, while the Ontario feeder ramp will be back open by 9 AM Sunday.

IDOT warns drivers to expect delays.

30-Day Warning Periods Begin At 4 New Speed Camera Sites

A sign warns drivers of speed camera enforcement ahead.

A sign warns drivers of speed camera enforcement ahead.

Speed cameras at three new locations will begin issuing warning notices starting Friday, September 5th according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.

The 30-day period will begin for recently installed speed cameras located near Taft High School (5739 N. Northwest Hwy. and 6510 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.), Frazier Elementary School (4042 W. Roosevelt Rd. and the 1100 block of S. Pulaski Rd. and Mulberry Park (6510 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.).

Earlier in the week on Tuesday, September 2nd, a speed camera near Benito Juarez High School (1440 W Cermak Rd.) also began it’s 30-day warning phase.

The City’s Top 10 Most Ticketed Fire Hydrants

877 drivers who parked in front of Chicago's most dangerous fire hydrant at 1025 W. 63rd Street were ticketed in the past two years. Photo credit: Tanveer Ali/DNA Info.

877 drivers who parked in front of Chicago’s most dangerous fire hydrant at 1025 W. 63rd Street were ticketed in the past two years. Photo credit: Tanveer Ali/DNA Info.

Which fire hydrant produces the most Chicago parking tickets?

It’s in front of a liquor store in Englewood located at 1025 W. 63rd Street according to an analysis done by DNA Info.

Over the past two years,  cars at this hydrant have been ticketed 877 times–that’s an average of more than a ticket a day. The expensive $150 tickets allowed the city to generate over $48,000 in revenue from all the tickets.

And that’s more than twice the tickets of the second place hydrant located at 5558 W. North Avenue in the Austin neighborhood which racked up a paltry 372 tickets for drivers who dared to park there over a two year period.

Players In Red Light Camera Bribery Scheme Plead Not Guilty

red_light_cameraNot guilty.

That’s the plea former city manager John Bills and his long time friend, Martin O’Malley gave in U.S. Federal Court on Tuesday according to the Chicago Tribune.

Bills, the long time Chicago Department of Transportation deputy commissioner who oversaw the city’s red light camera program, is accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to help Redflex Traffic Systems win and keep the lucrative city contract.

O’Malley is alleged to have been the conduit who funneled most of the $2 million paid to him from Redflex to Bills.