Monthly Archives: October 2011

CBS: Rogue Cop Writing Bogus City Sticker Tickets

Sounds like a police officer on the Northwest side has a bug up his butt.

According to CBS 2 News Chicago police officer Gary Sanabria seems to be issuing a lot of parking tickets for Chicago city sticker violations to vehicles which clearly exhibit a suburban vehicle sticker.

Halloween Driving, Pedestrian Safety Tips

jack-o-lanternHalloween may be the most dangerous night of the year for kids.

And not because of all the stomach aches that occur from consuming an overabundance of candy.

No, there are multiple studies that indicate more children are hit by vehicles on October 31st than any other 24 hour period of the year.

The Center for Disease Control conducted a study between 1975 and 1996 that showed deaths for young (age 5-14) pedestrians is four times higher on Halloween than any other night of the year.

More generally, a 1999 study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims most collisions between vehicles and young pedestrians occur between 4-8 PM–the heart of trick or treating, and 84% of young pedestrian deaths occur mid-block when kids try to dash across the street.

So, here are a few tips when you’re out driving Monday.

‘Sexy Meter Maid’ Costume Always A Great Choice For Halloween

GEEK EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a mildly revised reposting of a Halloween themed story we did two years ago. Feeling kind of lazy, and suffering a bit of a sugar hangover after attending a handful of Halloween themed children’s parties this weekend, we thought it made sense to revisit in advance of Monday’s holiday.

Original post below

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Yeah, everyone should know by now that the term “meter maid” is an outdated term and is not considered politically correct in these so-called enlightened times.

Historically, nationally, internationally and here in Chicago, parking meter enforcement has been done by women. It was only in 1978 that “meter maids” officially began being called Parking Enforcement Aides here in Chicago, according to the Chicago Department of Revenue’s in-house newsletter Revenue Buzz. It then was another 12 years before the first male PEA was hired.

Bike Riders Mass Up Streets Friday Night

It’s the last Friday of the month drivers.

And that means a few thousand overly friendly, crazy bike riders will clog up streets somewhere in Chicago tonight for the monthly Critical Mass ride.

PIRG Report Cautions Against Red Light, Speed Camera Enforcement

Just as it looks like the Illinois General Assembly is poised to pass a law to enable Chicago to become the automatic speed camera enforcement capital of the U.S., Illinois PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) has just released a report detailing the pitfalls of such systems.

The group’s report, “Red Light Cameras Ahead: The Risks of Privatizing Traffic Law Enforcement and How to Protect the Public,” looks at the dangers these programs pose for municipalities, taxpayers and motorists. In many cases, Illinois PIRG believes revenue and profits often come before driver safety.

“Our report found that too many cities wrongly sign away power to ensure the safety of citizens on the roads when they privatize traffic law enforcement, said said Celeste Meiffren, Field Director of Illinois PIRG. “Nationally, automated traffic ticketing tends to be governed by contracts that focus more on profits than safety. That shouldn’t happen.”

Meiffrin is quick to point out that Illinois PIRG does not take a stance on whether or not traffic camera enforcement promotes safety.

“We really don’t take a stance on whether camera enforcement is a good or bad thing,” Meiffrin contends. “But in most cases it is not about public safety but about revenue. There are questions about the effectiveness of red light cameras but our report doesn’t address these issues.”

The City of Chicago has the largest automated traffic enforcement program in the nation with 191 red light camera equipped intersections and over 382 cameras issuing $100 tickets.

The Doctor Is In, On WLS AM Thursday Afternoon

UPDATE: Here’s the audio from the Ticket Doctor’s visit with Roe & Roper on Thursday afternoon. State Senator Dan Duffy, who fought against the bill, jumps in about half way through.

Original post below

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Barnet Fagel, aka the Ticket Doctor, one of the nation’s leading experts on red light camera enforcement, will be on WLS 890 AM Thursday afternoon.

Fagel will be on air with Roe Conn and Richard Roper after 3 PM Thursday to discuss the speed enforcement camera bill that passed the Illinois Senate Wednesday evening.

Conn and Roper, in an on-air conversation with Fox Chicago News reporter Mike Flannery Wednesday evening announced their distaste for this change in the law and will obviously find common ground with the Ticket Doctor.

Tune into 890 AM around 3:15 or stream it live here.

Crosswalk Stings Resume With Nighttime Enforcement

A motorist gets caught at a crosswalk sting at Elston and St. Louis this summer

After about a month hiatus, Chicago’s Crosswalk Enforcement Initiative program resumes with two night time enforcement events.

The Crosswalk Enforcement Initiative is a program run by the Chicago Department of Transportation in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department where undercover cops posing as pedestrians try to cross the street at an intersection.

If the driver does not come to a complete stop and allow the fake pedestrian to completely cross the street, the motorist can be ticketed and fined up to $500.

So please, make sure you drive safely, give pedestrians the brake and let them safely cross at all crosswalks and intersections.

Speed Camera Bill Zooms Through Senate

Vroom!

When it comes to speed cameras, things are moving very fast.

Late Wednesday, with record breaking speed the Illinois Senate passed SB 965 on a 32–24 vote.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed the initiative with both House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), but it was Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) who rushed the bill through to passage in just three days.

The bill as originally written, would have defined “Safety Zones” as any red light camera intersection within 1/4 mile of a school, park, community college or university and for enforcement to occur 24 hours a day.

Wacker Dr. Mannequins Promote Pedestrian Safety

A pair of mannequins stand in along Wacker Dr. for two of 32 pedestrians killed in 2010

32.

That’s how many pedestrians were killed in vehicle crashes in Chicago in 2010.

And that’s the number of mannequins, each sporting a black T-shirt with white and yellow ink bluntly stating “1 of 32 Pedestrians Killed Last Year In Chicago,” which stand alone or in pairs along Wacker Drive in downtown Chicago.

The mannequins stand as sentinels along the Chicago River on West Wacker Drive, between Clark and State Streets, as part of an installation to kickoff a pedestrian campaign Tuesday.

“Pedestrians are the most vulnerable users of the public way,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein speaking adjacent to the installation. “This campaign is specifically designed to change the behaviors that lead to pedestrian crashes.”

Klein spoke earlier in the day at a press conference where representatives from the Chicago Police Department, Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) were also on hand.

Fake Handicapped Placards Could Be Costly

Using a bogus handicapped placard could get your car towed and impounded if Karen Tamley gets her way.

Tamley, the commissioner for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities suggested this idea to the city council during budget hearings as a way to crack down on drivers who abuse disabled parking placards to get free metered parking, park in handicapped spaces or park in designated residential handicapped spots according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Tamley proposed fines for drivers caught abusing handicapped parking privileges to exceed $1000 when all fines, towing fees, etc. get totaled.

In addition, she says she working to tighten handicapped parking rules at all levels, which were positively received by aldermen says the Sun-Times.