Despite Changes, Speed Camera Bill Would Still Bring In Big Bucks
Data Shows $56 Million For First Year At Just 7 Locations
The bill, which would bring speed enforcement cameras to Chicago, despite a few revisions on it’s way from being passed in both houses of the Illinois General Assembly to Governor Pat Quinn’s desk last week, would still help the Windy City rake in a ton of dough.
As originally reported here last week, under the original parameters of enforcement, and using data from the Chicago Department of Transportation study on which the basis of the speed camera initiative was launched, the first year of revenue for just the seven cameras picked for the study would generate close to an estimated $100 million.
However, two key components were changed in SB 965 in order to gain support from members for passage in the Illinois House.
The first was to the hours of enforcement. When originally proposed, the hours of enforcement for speed enforcement capabilities to be setup at already establish red light camera locations was to be from 6 AM until midnight 7 days a week.
This got watered down to 10 PM during weekdays in the Senate’s version and then restricted further to 6 AM until 8:30 PM Monday through Thursday and until 9 PM on Fridays.
In addition, the original $100 fine was halved to $50 per violation for vehicles exceeding the speed limit by 5 to 10 mph, with the $100 fine being levied against drivers going 11 mph or faster through these intersections.
These two major changes have a profound impact on previous estimates decreasing the revenue projections by 43%.
This time around, due to the two tier fine structure, projected fines had to be segregated properly so that vehicles in the study going over 35 mph but below 41 mph were assigned a $50 fine, while drivers exceeding the speed limit by 11 mph or more were assigned a $100 fine.
In addition, the hours of enforcement per month were down due to lowering the number of hours by 1.5 hours Monday through Thursday and one hours on Fridays.
These changes produced a projected total for the first month of enforcement of 81,676 potential fines at $50 each, and a projected total of 25,557 potential fines at $100 each.
Again, like in the first analysis we applied a regression of means to account for a moderate, but steady decline in violations due to a change in driver behavior. We used 5.3% as the monthly rate of decline in tickets–an average discovered while analyzing 2010 CDOT data which demonstrated how red light camera violations dropped over time.
This revised analysis showed over the course of 12 months, an estimated 700,100 vehicles would have been sent fines for $50 in the mail, while 219, 073 motorists would have been hit with a $100 fine for exceeding the speed limit by 11 mph or more.
This translates in $56, 914, 000 in projected fines for the first year at just the seven locations used in CDOT’s study of speeding–a number just a few million short of the $61 million generated by all 382 red light cameras in 2010.
Remember, according to the city, 79 intersections or 158 cameras could potentially be used for speed camera enforcement if SB965 is signed by Governor Quinn.
As warned in this site’s last article covering this issue, it would be impossible to extrapolate revenues to 158 cameras based on only seven cameras without knowing all the locations and the average traffic volume at each.
However, it is safe to estimate, even with changes to hours of enforcement and the fine structured outlined in the Illinois House version of the bill, the revenue realized by speed cameras could be a big payday for the City of Chicago.
Review all the original documents for this analysis at the bottom of the original post, “Revenue From Speed Cameras Could Dwarf Chicago’s Red Light Camera Program.”