Where Will The Speed Cameras Be? Pretty Much Everywhere

Do you live near or drive through where Chicago could install speed cameras?

The answer is most certainly “Yes!”

The Expired Meter has, via a Freedom of Information request, obtained the list of the 79 locations of red light camera intersections which qualify for speed camera status by their 1/8 mile proximity to a school or park.

And guess what? There’s a probably a speed camera coming to an intersection near you!

The list shows shows literally every corner of Chicago with the potential for some sort of speed camera presence. Northside, Southside, Westside and even downtown. If you drive in the city, you’re going to come across a speed camera if the city retrofits all 79 potential RLC locations with speed camera hardware.

79 potential speed camera locations

But don’t get all jittery and paranoid while driving now, the earliest the cameras can begin snapping pictures of your car speeding through an intersection is July 1st.

In fact, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation it will take some time to retrofit all 79 locations if the city decides to utilize all the intersections which could qualify under the newly passed Chicago speed camera law.

According to CDOT spokesperson Peter Scales, the first speed cameras will go in at the intersections with the highest number of pedestrian incidents.

“We will probably do it in order of highest priority down,” says Scales.

But for a driver’s best protection, you may want to start checking the list and our map of potential speed camera locations to see where you’ll have to drive the most carefully if the Chicago City Council does indeed pass it into law here.

40 Responses to Where Will The Speed Cameras Be? Pretty Much Everywhere

  1. .Q says:

    While there is a lot of talk about retrofitting existing RLC into ASE, there is nothing in the way the law is written that would preclude the city or redspeed from using mobile ASE units. The only requirement is that the location of all ASE be published on a map on the city’s website. It is for that reason that I made a map which approximates all the safety buffer zones.


    (The KML looks better than the Google map though…)

  2. What’s the city going to do when after a year or two of ASE operation the public finds out it was all a BIG LIE? Speed cameras don’t provide safety, they deteriorate safety?

  3. Steven Vance says:

    79 intersections is the opposite of everywhere. There are 3,035 signalized intersections in Chicago, and over 20,000 intersections total.

    Red Light Doctor, what research are you referring to says speed cameras deteriorate safety.

  4. Pete says:

    Something tells me Chicago will ignore the state law’s limitations on speed camera location and put them on the expressways or wherever else they think would be most profitable. They will also assess the full $100 fine for any speed in excess of the limit at all. No court will stop them.

  5. The Parking Ticket Geek says:


    I’m using “everywhere” in the broadest sense of the word. My point was that, if the city opts to use all 79 locations for speed enforcement cameras, a typical driver will drive through these “safety zones”, and ultimately may have an impact on how they drive.

  6. Greg says:

    So if these are red light cameras, then they are aimed at the intersections. Does that mean they will only catch you if you speed thru the intersections?

    There are always signs stating its a red light camera intersection. So when you see the sign, just slow down…

    Off course, there is always the alternative of driving down side streets to avoid these. Which is probably likely to happen to some extent, meaning the neighborhoods will start seeing people speeding down their side streets.

    Seems that’s much more dangerous.

  7. Steven, reports from cities and states for example LA and Houston shut down their RLC programs because no safety benefit was found after years of operation, no crash reductions. Chicago DOT has yet to publish a credible, peer reviewed RLS safety report. One report they released 2 years ago claimed a 20% reduction at RLC-equipped intersections. When the report was reviewed by the Tribune and an Illinois associate professor showed the same Sara actually showed a 5% increase in crashes, a 25% swing. The method of collecting accident data appears to have been biased. By limiting the length of the approach street capture area from 275 feet down to 60 feet far fewer rear end crashes will be included. These synthetic data provides an unrealistic view of the situation.

  8. Lance Corvette says:

    Uh, are any of these actually near schools? I thought they’re supposed to be “for the children” “save one child, you save the world” Quinn said.

    Also, has anyone (our free press?) actually determined that speeding near schools is (or anywhere, for that matter), in fact, harming children?

    Yeah, I know, it’s all just another shakedown. Just play along, would’jas?

  9. Will Chicago have to give public notice of each new speed camera installation to make motorists aware for the first month? This is typically the procedure, but then this is Chicago.

  10. glg says:

    Red Light Doctor, you’re talking about Red Light Cameras causing additional crashes, *not* speed cameras.

  11. .Q says:

    RedLightDoctor: There is nothing in the langage saying that they have to provide advance notice of installations. But for a location to be valid, it must be published on the city’s website.

    625 ILCS 5/11-208.8(q)
    A municipality using an automated speed enforcement system must provide notice to drivers by publishing the locations of all safety zones where system equipment is installed on the website of the municipality.

    To me it sounds as though they could provide a self updating website where the location of mobile enforcement units with GPSs could self-publish their current location.

  12. Zsamot says:

    The list provided is where the city of Chicago already has red light camera.

  13. Mike says:

    So what group is going to start or continue their crusade against these cameras? Sign me up twice. City council still has to pass this but they could stop it. Lol. Like that would happen.

  14. TC says:

    Ah yes … the world of big brother in Chicago is ever expanding. There is no question that the red light cameras increase the risk to drivers and the speed cameras will as well. The only purpose is to generate more money and monitor the citizens. So happy we moved out of Chicago.

  15. Mary says:

    Simple solution for all the red light cameras- don’t drive your car over the posted speed limit and you won’t get a ticket. Pretty easy to figure out. The cameras are there to generate revenue, and if you follow the speed limit, the revenue won’t be coming in as expected. Of course, that would be too easy so instead we rant about how unfair the cameras are. People already speed down the side streets, that is why there are speed bumps and round-abouts installed to help circumvent the speedsters, or at least cause the speedsters to hit something hard while speeding and hopefully remove them from society.

  16. In almost every case, speed limits posted at the 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic under good conditions (5 to 15 mph higher than current in most cases) produce the smoothest traffic, the highest safety, and the fewest accidents. Speed cameras WILL NOT be used in zones with 85th percentile speed limits because they would never be able to issue enough tickets to even pay their own high operational costs. They will ONLY be deployed where the posted limits are improperly and less-safely set far below the safety-optimum 85th percentile speeds.
    Chicago’s red light camera program is massively predatory, made possible with improper and less-safe engineering of the lights with yellows too short for the ACTUAL traffic speeds. Expect the same predatory policies with the new speed cameras.
    The Governor either 1) decided to support the Mayor’s frantic search for more revenue or 2) was brainwashed with false promises of more safety or 3) both.
    See the science on our website on the safest 85th percentile speed limits. If it makes sense, then contact your state legislators to ask them to repeal this revenue-grab law and contact Chicago officials to demand they NOT deploy these speed camera cash registers.
    James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, http://www.motorists.org, Ann Arbor, MI (frequent visitor to Chicagoland)

  17. Bicycle Bob says:

    The best way to avoid speeding tickets: don’t speed!

    This technology for controlling safety has been needed for a long time. It’s good to see it’s finally coming about.

  18. Pete says:

    Just wait until Rahm requires bikes to get license plates so they too can be ticketed by camera.

  19. Gig and Q; when the natural flow of traffic is disrupted by financial or distractive fear, the perfect storm is brewed for increased crashes. Glad to hear from a member of the Active Transportation Alliance who believe everyone should ride a bike. I say quit peddling your stale Kool-Aid, doing the Mayors bidding. Automatic Speed Enforcement will slow traffic down so much that bicycles will appear to be moving at light speed, a two-wheeled conspiracy. Too many of Chicago’s traffic signals have dangerously short yellows causing split second traffic flow panic stops. Speed cameras will further siphon off the life blood of Chicago by restricting and reducing personal and commercial traffic thus increasing transportation costs, and inflating the cost of goods without providing any demonstratable safety benefit. After years of speed camera oppression in Arizona, citizens there pressured the state to remove the cameras when the State Police finally admitted speed cameras didn’t and couldn’t reduce car crashes, but actually increased them. Maryland speed cameras are so notoriously inaccurate, one rogue judge so inamored with camera cash flow will not listen to any defendant’s arguments at all, a denial of due process by law. One local auto store owner with 6 trucks proved with video the speed cameras were out of whack. Practically any measured commodity you buy using a mechanism must have that device independently certified for accuracy. Taxi meters, elevators, X-ray cameras, fuel dispensers, food scales and many more items are regulated, but not red light or speed cameras. There are very real concerns about the speed camera’s Wild West approach free-for-all when it comes to lack of oversight. When city hall lackies say “Just do the speed limit” that naive approach would have motorists keeping their eyes and attention glued to their speedometers as they approach intersections when it’s far more critical to watch out for the kids. After all, that’s what it’s all about, its for the kids and not the money. Governor Quinn says if we can save one life it’s worth it, but if you take just one life, is it still worth it?

  20. elhefe777 says:

    It’ll be even better to see when the Bicycle Bobs of Chicago start obeying some traffic laws. It’s been needed for a long time…

  21. beeb says:

    What I don’t understand is, what is the speed limit? 20mph? How far is the “zone?” Are they going to mark the streets that between X and X the speed limit is 20mph but outside is 30mph? I just can’t figure out how to comply with this. My car idles at 20mph, and I have tried when traffic is light to go down to 20mph and travel and I feel like Grandma. School zones now are 20mph on school days WHEN CHILDREN ARE PRESENT. So what are they talking about…all the time 20mph, or regular speed limits just always able to ticket you for even 1mph over 30mph? Does anybody know? I am thinking of making a sign for the back of my car: “Please don’t be mad if I am going too slow…I can’t afford the ticket fine!”

  22. PBN1969 says:

    I wish they would put as much effort into busting rogue bike riders. I have lost count of the number of times I almost hit a bike rider because they blew through a stop sign or a red light. The funny part is when you try to tell them to pay attention. You usually get a big “FU” and the middle finger.

  23. Steven Vance says:

    I don’t think that studies about the impacts of red light cameras are relevant to determine how speed cameras will impact traffic.

    Yes, the city must provide 30 days notice before a speed camera is to begin issuing citations. See “When will the system be operational?” on my website.

    You can also read the results of several *speed camera* studies here:

  24. Steven Vance says:

    @beeb: The speed limit is not changing. The signage that must be posted ahead of the speed camera must also post the speed limit for that segment of the street. In case you didn’t know, all streets in Chicago have a 30 MPH speed limit unless otherwise noted. Speed limits in alleys are 15 MPH unless otherwise noted. Details are on my blog:

    There’s at least one street with a 20 MPH speed limit! Dearborn Street north of Hubbard Street.

  25. Mike says:

    As beeb also asked: what is the speed limit? I have been driving in Chicago for 25 years. I’ve never received a speeding ticket and almost never have any idea what the speed limit is. Speed limit signs are rarely posted in the city? There are no speed limit signs on Damen where I live in Ravenswood. Is the limit different on Irving Park than a side street? Who even knows? People drive down Ashland at 35-40 MPH all day every day and it seems perfectly safe to me. What is the actual limit? 30? 25? How is anyone going to know how fast to drive through these camera zones?

  26. The Parking Ticket Geek says:


    A-Freaking MEN!!!!

    If you drove into Chicago from out of town for the first time, you would have no idea what the speed limit is because there are so few signs. If you went with the natural flow of traffic, depending on the time of day, you would probably be speeding based on the alleged “posted” speed.

    So, instead of investing in traffic and engineering studies to find out what the optimum (safest) speed limit is AND actually posting a few freakin’ signs, the city wants to ding everyone $50 for going just over 5 mph over the limit.

    Right on Mike!

  27. The Parking Ticket Geek says:


    I have not had a chance to link to it yet, but make sure you read Steve’s very comprehensive coverage of the speed camera law and what it means to you.

    It’s so good it actually pisses me off because I didn’t write something like this myself.

    I will link to his post in a roundup of news on speed cameras over the weekend (hopefully) but in the meantime, check it out here.


  28. Mike says:

    To answer some of the speed limit questions, the speed limit is 30 mph unless other wise posted. School zone speed limits are 20 mph which is crazy slow. Do 26 and boom, TICKET!

  29. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Excellent point Mike.

  30. Drew says:

    Its 20 in a School Zone in Most Cities and States….not just Chicago.

    Traffic is supposed to be slow moving in a School Zone because all the choir boys and cheerleaders don’t just cross at the corners…they step off curbs at all points on the street because EVERYONE JAYWALKS in this damn city.

    People drive stupid in this city.

    I applaud speed cameras.

  31. JohnD1 says:

    I would note that the signs say “on school days WHEN CHILDREN ARE PRESENT”. How will the cameras know when the proper times are?

  32. Drew says:

    John….I’d bet they never get turned off.

    And I have no issue if they are on 24 hours a day 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

    People drive stupid at all hours…not just during the school day.

  33. Mike says:

    Making people slow down 5-10 MPH periodically is not going to make them any less stupid, or make them drive any less stupidly. Most people drive stupidly out of native stupidity, or more specifically a lack of spatial intelligence. If not one of these disadvantages, they are staring into their smartphones or making phone calls while driving. Enforcing the law against using phones might make the roads safer and more efficient than having to slow down slightly near intersections to avoid getting a ticket for going 6 MPH “too fast?” On the topic of speed limit signs, I always figured they didn’t post them so they could write a lot of speeding tickets. But, according to the 30 MPH limit people have posted, myself and close to 50% of other drivers speed every single time we drive down Western or Ashland (between 6 and 10 MPH and rarely faster). I have driven in Chicago for 25 years without ever receiving a ticket or a warning. I don’t see people being pulled over for going 40 on major arteries, either. What is inherently unsafe about going 36-40 MPH on certain stretches of Western Ave? Also, I don’t see anyone going a bit faster than 30 MPH interfering with traffic, but slow drivers always do, as well as those who can’t see the light turn green or the car ahead of them because they are texting, checking Facebook or searching for phone numbers while they drive. Enforcing that law takes work and would help educate people to pay attention to what they are doing. Installing cameras automates what is nothing more than pillage.

  34. Mike says:

    I always felt that speeding on Chicago streets was rather hard to do because there are stop signs or stop lights every block or so. There are very few stretches of road without those devices, other than LSD. Honestly, it is almost given that you won’t be pulled over and ticketed on the expressway unless you are doing more than 10 mph over the speed limit. Well, Rahm now makes that 6 mph. I hope city council won’t pass this but they will rubber stamp it for the mayor. I can dream.

  35. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Mike, again, great comment and very well said.


    I am just telling you upfront, I am going to rip you off and use this word with abandon.

  36. Mike says:


    Thanks for the compliments.

    There’s also a great article in the Chicago Tribune about Rahm’s lack of transparency in government which mostly deals with the speed camera subject. It’s a good read.


  37. .Q says:

    PTG: I have revamped the map I posted the link to a couple days ago. New version displays all zones for the currently viewable area, the facility they are protecting, and all existing RLC.


  38. The Dog says:

    I wrote the following about Rahm and the speed cameras before Elmer Fudd signed this bill into law. I think it’s still relevant. Of course, I had some fun with it just for kicks. And, apparently, according to what I’ve been told (I haven’t confirmed this), this law doesn’t allow for cameras on LSD, which would be the motherlode. Here you go:

    Ever have the thought that a trip up or down LSD might cost you $400? This is your brain on Rahm. Drugs are bad, man.

    As you’ll recall, Rahm’s first order of business upon ascending the throne was to pronounce that the closing of the lakefront on Memorial Day was due to the heat. Liar. And everybody knows it.

    Now, Rahm is pressing the State to pass the bill allowing speed cameras in the city within a distance of 1/8-mile from schools and parks under the guise of making sure our children are safe. Liar. And everybody knows it.

    It takes some gall for this guy to stand up and tell the constituents of this city these blatant and egregious lies. His term started with a lie. He got away with that one. I guess he feels that gave him license to lie going forward with impunity. It’s disgusting.

    Anyway, at the moment, we are all waiting to see if Elmer Fudd down in the Guvna’s Mansion is going to sign or veto the speed camera bill sent over by the General Assembly. Based on this guy’s actions since assuming the reins, he will probably remain consistent and sign this bill into law. He’s become very skilled at fleecing the State as well as its constituents. Nice one.

    I don’t have the space or inclination to go into all the details of what would occur if this bill is passed, but there was a study done by The Expired Meter website that showed that at seven approaches (one way, not all four ways) to intersections, nine hours a day over a period of two months, that nine percent, or 131,000 vehicles, would have been in violation (i.e. in excess of the speed limit by five mph). The revenue that would have been generated by those violations would have been a staggering $13.1M (at $100 per violation). Extrapolate these numbers, and the amount of revenue generated by the City annually under this law would likely be well into the hundreds of millions, if not billions. Do you think this money is going to go to the kids or the schools? Right! I don’t need to tell you into whose pockets it will land.

    Yesterday, November 10, CDOT indicated that the traffic light at LSD and Buckingham Fountain at Queen’s Landing would be restored. This traffic light would be within the 1/8-mile requirement mandated by the speed camera bill. How many vehicles would pass through this intersection daily? 100,000? If the same number of violations from the Expired Meter study occurred (9%), then this camera alone would generate $900,000 per day. That would be $27M per month and $324M annually from this one camera alone. No, it’s not about revenue.

    If this bill passes, this will be the paranoid, big brother scenario at camera intersections: approach with extreme caution at the speed limit; be vigilant of the pedestrian indicator (if there is one) in addition to the usual hazards (cars, peds); be ready to either gun it or slam on the brakes; be ready to be rear ended if you slam on the brakes; be ready to receive a red light camera ticket and/or a speed light ticket if you gun it to avoid the red light ticket; be ready to receive a red light ticket if you don’t speed through a yellow to avoid the speed light ticket. And all the while, never mind the other vehicles or pedestrians around you. That sounds like it’s all about safety to me. Cough.

    So, back to that trip up/down LSD. You could get dinged at Chicago, Monroe, Buckingham Fountain and Roosevelt. That will be $400, please. Talk about a bad trip down LSD. Drugs, man.

    Hey, I’m all for the safety of children and being a law abiding citizen, but these cameras have nothing to do with safety and everything to do with revenue. We can only hope that Elmer Fudd down in Springfield finally gets a clue and vetoes this bill. If not, we have a disaster on our hands which neither you, me, the taxi drivers who will be wiped out nor Rahm himself will be able to comprehend until it’s too late.

    This is your brain on Rahm. Any questions?

  39. Miles says:

    As the Dog says. It not about safety. 7 cameras would have issued 131,000 tickets in two months. Rahm wants to place 700 cameras (over 700)in the city. CPS has over 600 schools alone and how many parks are in the city. The cameras are to encompass 66% of the city’s streets. 131,000 tickets for seven, 13.1 million tickets for 700 cameras just in two months. Over 80 million potential violations in a year. What are the odds the 8 million chicagoland citizens get a ticket once in there driving lifetime with those odds. How about 100%. Just try to keep your speed at 25 MPH and see how hard it is. 26MPH gets you a ticket. Call your alderman and remind him that this is political suicide for him or her because once these tickets start rolling in and the city now has the ok to retrieve deliquent ticket payments from your Illinois State taxes, there are going to be a lot of pissed of voters. If I am pissed off, I will surely look who voted for these speed cameras. Alderman, Mayor, and Govenor and vote their asses out. If you live in the suburbs, I would call to becasue they are eventually going to make it there (red light cameras!!!)

  40. Dan Brobst says:

    I’ve paid 500 dollars in tickets from speed cameras this year. I make 13 dollars an hour. 5 honest mistakes for a person who cares about safety and they took a full weeks worth of hard earned money from me. I don’t mind paying for tickets when I am at wrong, but 100 bucks is a lot for certain people. I’d learn my lesson if the fee was 40. Yeah I agree it is about safety, but it is also about somebody needing money. If it was about safety only how many of us would willingly speed through a safety zone even at a 20 dollar fee? NOBODY! Safety is priority, but government earning the respect of the people is also pretty high on this so called democracy’s priority list. 5 different speed zones that I found out about when I looked in my mailbox. I will be safe from now on in those areas, but this lesson could have come at much lower cost.

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