Oops! Chicago Forgets It’s National Stop On Red Week
I’m a little confused.
Because it’s National Stop On Red Week.
And I know our city is very concerned with traffic safety. The Daley administration has taken a strong stance against red light running, in its attempt to improve safety at Chicago intersections with traffic lights.
Since 2003, the city has installed red light cameras at 158 Chicago intersections, with plans to have at least 220 photo enforced intersections by 2012. These numbers rank Chicago as one of America’s top five cities in red light camera surveillance.
The city has disciplined hundreds of thousands of evil, thoughtless, driving maniacs who have arrogantly blown through intersections armed with red light cameras, with $100 fines, to the tune of nearly $50 million bucks.
You know that Mayor Daley cares about our safety. Really cares. There can be no question about this. The numbers above prove it.
So that’s why I’m scratching my head.
We’re nearing the end of National Stop On Red Week, but you wouldn’t know it here in Chicago.
National Stop on Red Week is an annual event that takes place the first week of August, was started in 2001 to promote safe driving practices and to reinforce to drivers the absolute necessity of always stopping on the red at traffic lights, by the National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running.
I’ve seen no programs, no speeches, no educational outreach sponsored by the city to promote driving safety this week.
There have been no city press conferences, informational brochures or resolutions in the City Council to recognize National Stop On Red Week here in Chicago.
But I did see another, new red light camera being installed on the northwest side yesterday.
I mean, why would a city so bent on stopping red light running, that it would install hundreds of red light cameras city wide, would not want to participate in a program that promotes driving safety at traffic lights?
You would have thought, a leader like Mayor Daley, who is so concerned about red light safety, would have earmarked some of the millions and millions of dollars in red light camera fines, to promote red light safety education programs like National Stop On Red Week here in Chicago.
This had to be a grievous mistake. It would be a major embarrassment. Right?
I figured, I just might not be paying attention. Perhaps I had just missed it.
So I started calling around to see what some city department were planning to promote National Stop On Red Week.
I checked with the Chicago Department of Transportation. Nope! Nada! Nothing!
I checked with the Chicago Police Department. Zip! Zero! Zilch!
Not even Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications, which runs one of the largest red light camera programs in the nation, had anything planned.
I just know this was some sort of teensy-weensy oversight of the Daley Administration. Maybe they just forgot.
Because everyone knows, red light cameras are NOT about revenue. No! Of course not!
Red light cameras are ONLY about improving safety at intersections and decreasing vehicle collisions.
Anyone who thinks different, is itching for a fight.
I’m 100% absolutely, positively, convinced, that the City of Chicago, which is so committed to the safety of its motorists, will actively participate in next year’s National Stop On Red Week.