Speed Camera Testing Begins At Four Park Locations

Construction works get ready to secure the base of the speed camera pole in the 5100 block of north Pulaski.

Testing of the Chicago’s first automated speed enforcement cameras, installed near four parks, began Saturday according to city officials.

Technicians for the city’s new speed camera vendor, American Traffic Solutions, will be testing the newly installed units including the high intensity flash units, for approximately the next two weeks says the Chicago Department of Transportation.

No fines or even warnings will be issued during the testing phase. Once testing is completed, speeding motorists caught by the speed cameras, will be sent warnings in the mail for the first month the unit is operational. CDOT says speed violation warnings will begin being issued by the end of August.

“To ensure the accuracy and reliability of the automated speed enforcement cameras,
each system will be thoroughly tested before being activated for enforcement,” said
CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein. “Once testing is complete, the 30-day warning period
will begin.”

The new speed cameras began being installed this past week and testing will start at the following four locations:

    • Gompers Park (at 4124 W. Foster Ave. and 5119 N. Pulaski Rd.);
    • Garfield Park (at 3790 W. Madison St. and 3694 W. Jackson Blvd.);
    • Washington Park at 5530 S. Cottage Grove Ave. and 534 E. Morgan Dr.);

Ave.).

The city expects to install 50 speed cameras by the end of this year and estimates revenue of between $15-20 million for just the last four months of 2013.

Fines for speed camera violations will be $35 for speeding 6-10 mph over the limit or $100 for exceeding the limit by 11 mph or more.

Enforcement around parks will run seven days a week from 6 AM to 11 PM, while cameras around schools will enforce Monday through Friday from 7 AM to 7 PM.

The city believes speed cameras will improve traffic safety by reducing the speed of traffic accidents and therefore decreasing the severity of injuries sustained in a crash.

The city says it will use revenues from speed cameras for safety-related initiatives including after school programs, crossing guards and police officers, and infrastructure improvements like painting crosswalk markings and erecting traffic signs.

9 Responses to Speed Camera Testing Begins At Four Park Locations

  1. saucexx says:

    “The city expects to install 50 speed cameras by the end of this year and estimates revenue of between $15-20 million for just the last four months of 2013.”

    “The city believes speed cameras will improve traffic safety by reducing the speed of traffic accidents and therefore decreasing the severity of injuries sustained in a crash.”

    Either the cameras will reduce speeds and the City won’t collect much revenue, or they won’t reduce speeds and the City racks up lots of money. Since they’re budgeting for tickets already my guess is the City doesn’t think they will actually work or they’ll be rigged to collect money regardless.

  2. Greg says:

    Does anyone know if if signs will be posted, like signs are posted red light cameras?

  3. Greg says:

    RLD –

    Do you know what the distance will be that the sign are posted from the area the camera covers? In others words, will it be enough distance from the range of the camera to slow down?

    And I STILL ask – how can this hold up in court? With a red light camera, there is photographic proof. With a moving violation, you have the opportunity to question the cop. Here, you have none of those. I would think it would be very easy question the accuracy of the camera.

  4. Vic says:

    Maybe you can question the last time the camera was calibrated. That is an applicable defense if you question a cop gunning you in traffic.

    My question is are the speed cameras going to be like the red light cameras and ticket in only one direction of traffic, or will they nab cars going away from cameras as well as coming towards it.

  5. Jeff says:

    Cities all across the country are ending their red light/speed camera programs:

    http://www.fireredflex.com/cameras.html

    Note that San Diego ended its red light camera program after local authorties concluded that these cameras doscourage tourism and create disrespect for the law:

    http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/San-Diego-Eliminates-Red-Light-Cameras–189671371.html

  6. Greg,
    The sign palcement distance for any given intersection is known as the sight distance by traffic engineers.
    The car doesn’t always have to slow down. This brings into the equation the “dilemma zone” the decision to stop or go.
    The simple answer to the legality question is the law was created by crooks with crooked companies like Redflex, ACS and ATS…

  7. Mike says:

    Super stupid question here. We all know that most Chicago traffic signals are horribly timed. With 20 mph being a new norm by schools are they going to adjust the signals accordingly? Probably not. They’re hoping motorists will step on it to make it through an intersection and get a speed ticket in the process

  8. Jeff says:

    “Super stupid question here. We all know that most Chicago traffic signals are horribly timed. With 20 mph being a new norm by schools are they going to adjust the signals accordingly? Probably not. They’re hoping motorists will step on it to make it through an intersection and get a speed ticket in the process”

    Unlikely Chicaog will make any changes to traffic signals that will reduce the revenue from red light/speed cameras.

    IDOT/the City of Chicago have resisted efforts in the State Legislature to have longer yellow light statewide:

    http://theexpiredmeter.com/2012/03/idot-opposing-bill-to-enhance-traffic-safety/

    Even though this would be a clear safety measure that would reduce red light running at dangerous intersection. Why? Because keeping the yellow lights short makes for more money from red light camera fines. So the next time IDOT and/or Rahm Emanuel are pushing something as a “safety measure,” hide your wallet.

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