Red Light, Speed Cam Protest Gets Loud Response From Drivers

Jeff Black (foreground) and Scott Davis (background) pass out fliers attacking Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) for supporting speed cameras.

Jeff Black (foreground) and Scott Davis (background) pass out fliers attacking Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) for supporting speed cameras.

Manned with signs and fliers on all four corners of the intersection of Clark St. and Irving Park Rd., approximately 15 protestors opposed to red light and speed camera enforcement elicited loud and positive responses Saturday afternoon from supportive drivers.

Only one person riding a Divvy bike expressed opposition shouting at the protestors to “just obey the law.”

This was just the most recent stop on the citywide tour of a joint protests being held by Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras and Cook County Campaign for Liberty.

Cars and trucks stopped or passing through the Northside intersection near Wrigley Field honked and yelled out their support for the protestors.

That particular intersection is home to both a red light camera and a speed camera located a half block east on Irving Park.

In fact, according to organizers, of the several locations across the city where the groups have protested, this was the only location so far which had been specifically requested by some area drivers against the cameras.

“We had people contact us about this one,” said organizer and Lakeview resident Scott Davis. “It’s (the speed camera) is tucked in between two cemeteries and there are no children at play. There is a park allegedly near the L tracks they use to justify this location.”

Another protestor named Diane Shapiro scoffed at the site location too as she passed out fliers attacking Ald. Tom Tunney for voting yes to allow speed cameras in Chicago back in 2012.

“Is there anyone running out of the cemetery into traffic?” asked Shapiro.

The park in question is Challenger Park, a tiny strip of park which runs along the CTA Red Line tracks from Irving Park to Montrose.

Challenger Park does not have any of the typical amenities of a park where children would play at like swing sets, slides, playgrounds or ball fields. Instead, the main component, besides a parking lot, is a dog park 3/8ths of a mile from the park’s entrance on Irving Park.

“I think its ridiculous they would put speed cameras to protect dogs,” laughed Davis. “It’s a speed trap.”

“This tells you it’s not bout the safety of children around parks and schools when you have speed cameras around two cemeteries and a dog park,” said Mark Wallace, the head of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras.”

A spokesperson for Alderman James Cappleman’s office admitted that their office had received several complaints about the speed camera’s placement.

6 Responses to Red Light, Speed Cam Protest Gets Loud Response From Drivers

  1. Jeff says:

    Geek:

    Saw you as I was driving by Saturday afternoon (on the way to get my hair cut), doing your blogger thang interviewing the protesters. Looked like all four corners of Clark and Irving had protesters handing out fliers (took one myself just as the light turned green). Good work giving these folks the publicity thye need to start a rethink of the Chicago scamera network.

    Why are speed cameras a bad idea?

    1. The whole rationale for the speed cameras (child safety near schools) has been demonstrated to be pure nonsense:

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-03-14/news/ct-met-speed-cameras-statistics-20120314_1_red-light-cameras-emanuel-administration-traffic-deaths

    2. The entire purpose of the speed camera system is to raise revenue, rather than doing the necessary cutting of the waste and fraud out of the city budget.

    3. Setting the cameras to fine anyone going 6 miles or more over the speed limit is nonsense. Most speedometers are subject to errors of 5 miles an hour, so this guarantees tickets will be issued to those who were trying their best not to speed. This is also why a police officer will typically only ticket you once you approach 10 miles an hour over the speed limit, rather than pulling you over for 5-6 miles an hour over.

    4. The speed signs near schools effectively make the speed limit go from 30 to 20 miles an hour, the very second a child comes into view. As a point of basis physics, a car going 30 miles an hour does not go from 30 to 20 miles per hour in a second, unless it crashes into something. In essence, these school signs, coupled with the new speed cameras, will be fining drivers for the crime of not defying the physical laws of motion.

    5. These red light and speed camera systems have been subject to numerous complaints about their accuracy, with several well-publicized stories of drivers being given improper tickets:

    http://www.inquisitr.com/260721/red-light-camera-suspension-poorly-timed-cameras-bring-n-j-ticket-program-to-a-hault/

    6. The presence of these cash grabbing cameras only adds to the perception that living/driving/shopping/visting in Chicago is not worth the trouble. This is why cities across the country have started yanking them out:

    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Houston-red-light-cameras-All-over-but-the-2139922.php

    7. Since this is Chicago, we have already seen corruption/bribery in the red light and speed camera programs. For example, note the recent disqualification of Redflex systems from Chicago’s traffic camera efforts, after allegations of bribery surface in the media:

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-04-11/news/ct-met-redflex-scandal-fallout-20130412_1_corruption-scandal-redflex-officials-red-light-camera-contract

    8. The placement of red light cameras (and now speed cameras) has never been about traffic safety – instead the placement of these cameras has been all about maximizing fines/city revenue:

    http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/IG-Report-Questions-Locations-of-Chicago-Red-Light-Cameras-207379221.html

    9. Red light and speed cameras, rather than promoting safety, may actually cause more/deadlier accidents instead:

    http://blogs.lawyers.com/2013/05/red-light-cameras-cause-accidents/ 10.

    Worst of all, these camera systems will only end up lining the pockets of our Mayor’s reelection campaign. Note that the main Redflex lobbyist for speed camera legislation in Chicago and Springfield, Greg Goldner, was one of the Mayor’s biggest campaign supporters/contributors:

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-03-13/news/ct-met-resolute-emanuel-speed-cameras-20120313_1_speed-cameras-greg-goldner-red-light-cameras

  2. […] Traffic Cam Protestors Target Tunney (Expired Meter) […]

  3. Drew says:

    I love the sign that says “Blame Tunney”

    I blame Tunney for a lot of the things that are wrong in Wrigleyille

  4. The Parking Ticket Geek says:

    Jeff,

    Man, you SUCK!!!

    You see my dumb ass hanging out at the protest and you can’t even stop to say hello?!?

    Totally LAME dude!

    Having a chance to finally meet you in person would have made my day.

    Mike

  5. Jeff says:

    Geek:

    Was planning to double back and catch up with you after I got my hair cut (along with waxing all my special areas). But being the efficient reporter you are, you managed to get the story, the photos, and the crowd reaction before I came back. One of these days, our paths will cross.

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