Monthly Archives: December 2015

Driving Tips For A Safe New Year’s Eve

The best advice for drivers on New Year’s Eve?

Don’t drive!

Go ahead and pop that champagne cork tonight, but perhaps the best strategy to make sure you get home safely is to leave the car at home this evening.

New Year’s Eve is notoriously one of the most dangerous nights to drive, for obvious reasons. In addition, anytime you mix alcohol and driving, motorists are at risk for DUI.

Last year the Illinois Department of Transportation says ten people were killed and 856 injured in motor vehicle crashes over the New Year’s Eve holiday.

People residing in the city proper have many alternatives to driving themselves.

Last 24 Hours For Parking, Red Light Camera Ticket Amnesty

Tons of Parking TicketsTick, tock.

As Chicagoans count down the minutes to 2016, time is also expiring on the city’s ticket amnesty program.

The debt relief program, which started November 15th, is now in its final hours–ending at 11:59 PM on December 31st.

The city will double the fine of a ticket if the vehicle owner doesn’t pay in a timely manner, then tack on interest and collection fees as well.

The amnesty is a rare opportunity for scofflaws with unpaid parking and red light camera tickets from before 2012, to pay at the original amount. The city’s last amnesty was back in 2009.

But you can’t wait until the New Year, because at midnight January 1st, all the old late fees, and additional fines will be restored.

Scofflaws can check online to see if they have outstanding tickets and pay online as well.

What are you waiting for?

Ring In The New Year With…2016 RPP Guest Passes

RPP guest pass 2016You know those daily pink residential permit guest parking passes you’ve been using all year?

They won’t work starting January 1st.

If you’re a Chicagoan who lives on a street with residential permit parking, you’re familiar with the RPP temporary guest passes you need to give to friends and relatives so their car won’t be ticketed when they come to visit you.

The City Clerk’s office is warning drivers the pink colored ones from 2015 expire on December 31st, so you’ll need to get the new blue 2016 passes for your guests sooner than later. Using guest passes from 2015 risks a $60 parking ticket.

State Promises Stepped Up Enforcement For New Year’s Eve

illinoisstatepoliceDon’t drink and drive this New Year’s holiday.

That’s because law enforcement will be working overtime to catch driver’s who’ve over celebrated while ringing in the new year.

IDOT is working with the Illinois State Police and over 200 local law enforcement agencies with stepped up enforcement via additional roadside safety checks, seat belt enforcement zones and additional patrols.

IDOT officials say that fatalities have been on the rise in Illinois in 2015 and New Year’s Eve makes roads particularly more dangerous. Currently, the state has 999 fatalities (an 8.5% increase over 2014 statistics) on the books and will most likely surpass the 1,000 fatality threshold for the first time in years.

“The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective

Breaking News!Compiled by Otto Mobile.
Your transportation related headlines for Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Road Closures Along Wacker Drive For Chicago New Years Eve Celebration – DNA Chicago; Free Rides On NYE – Redeye; How To Avoid Uber Surge Pricing On New Years Eve – Yahoo Autos; The Best New Years Eve Events of 2015 – Chicago Reader

Snow Causes Spinouts/Crashes During Wednesday AM Commute – Chicago Tribune

Rahm Cash Grab Speed Cams Catch Cops, School Bus Drivers, CTA Operators, But Some Get A Free Pass On Fines – Chicago Tribune; 89 Speed Camera Tickets Issued To One Chicago Woman; Fines Top $30,000 – Chicago Tribune; A Reading List On The Trouble With Speed Cams – Beezodogsplace

Cars Swept Off Roads As Deadly Winter Flood Affects Illinois And Missouri – Chicago Tribune

Rahm Returns From Cuba Vacation To Noisy Protest On His Front Lawn – And In Another Case Of King Rahm Flouting The City Laws He Makes, His Sidewalk Is Not Shoveled – Chicago Tribune; Protesters Plan To Shut Down The Loop Financial District On Martin Luther King Day – WGN 9 Chicago; Protesters Call On Emanuel Donors To Withdraw Support Of Mayor – CBS 2 Chicago; Who Would Step Up If Rahm Steps Down – Crains Chicago Business

In Illinois, Starting January 1, Drivers Of Nonelectric Vehicles Caught Parking In Spots Designated For Electric Vehicles Will Face A $75 Fine – Plug In Sites

Judge Limits Testimony In Chicago Redflex Bribery Trial

Redflex-LogoBy The

US District Judge Virginia M. Kendall said what government prosecutors wanted to hear on Tuesday. Former Chicago, Illinois Deputy Transportation Commissioner John Bills is on trial for receiving hundreds of thousands in cash and benefits from Redflex Traffic Systems in return for his help in securing the massive $100 million photo ticketing contract, and he will have a harder time defending himself.

Judge Kendall essentially granted all of the government’s motions designed to limit the scope of the trial to ensure that it does not get bogged down by discussions of irrelevant side issues, such as Redflex bribery efforts in Louisiana that have not yet resulted in any criminal charges. Representing Bills, attorney Nishay K. Sanan explained the relevance of what Redflex did in the Pelican State.

“The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective

HeadlinesCompiled by Otto Mobile.

Your transportation related headlines for Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

Road Closures Along Wacker Drive For Chicago New Years Eve Celebration – DNA Chicago; Free Rides On NYE – Redeye

Monday Winter Storm Snarls Traffic, Pounds Lakefront Path – Chicago Tribune; CTA Reports No Significant Storm Problems With Train Service – CBS 2 Chicago; Rare Winter Flood Threatens Homes, Closes Highways In Illinois And Missouri – Chicago Sun Times

Cop In McDonald Dash Cam Shooting Pleads Not Guilty – Chicago Tribune; Rahm Returns From Cuba Vacation After More Police Shootings – DNA Chicago – He Should Have Stayed In Cuba, Where He Could Give Lessons To The Castro Brothers On How To Lie With A Straight Face; 250,000 Sign Petition For Rahm And Alvarez To Resign – Crains Chicago Business ?

Palmer Square Speedway Slowed By Raised Crosswalks – DNA Chicago

Lyft Releases List Of Top Chicago Destinations – Chicago Tribune

Geek Joins WGN Radio’s Brian Noonan Monday Evening

WGN Radio's Brian Noonan.

WGN Radio’s Brian Noonan.

It’s cold and crappy outside.

So, we’re sure you have nothing better to do than listen to the radio this evening.

That moron, the Parking Ticket Geek joins Brian Noonan on WGN Radio 720 to talk about Chicago’s soon to be ending parking ticket amnesty as well as other driving related subjects.

The Geek should be on around 5:30 this evening.

Stay warm, tune in WGN Radio 720 AM or stream it here.

“The Driver’s Side” – News From The Motorist’s Perspective

Daily-News-headline-newspapersEDITOR’S NOTE: Please welcome back our awesome contributor, Mr. Otto Mobile, from a well-deserved vacation.

Otto has accrued a ton of vacation days here and The Expired Meter has a very tough vacation day policy–use them or lose them. But now he’s back. Enjoy!

Compiled by Otto Mobile.

Your transportation related headlines for Monday, December 28th, 2015

Winter Storm Makes For Treacherous Travel Monday – NBC 5 Chicago; Lakefront May Flood With High Wind And Waves – DNA Chicago

Federal Judge Limits Testimony In Redflex Bribery Trial In Chicago – The Newspaper; New Legal Filing Alleges That Redflex Won The Chicago Contract By Out-Bribing Its Competitor – The Newspaper

IDOT Says North Lakeshore Drive Rehab Unlikely To Remove Car Lanes – But LSD Might be Widened To Add Bus Lanes – Chicago Streetsblog; Unsurprisingly, Streetsblog Still Favors Removing Car Lanes, Despite The 160,000 Cars That Use The Drive Each DayChicago Streetsblog

New Illinois DUI Law Lets Arrestees Drive – With An Alcohol Detection Device – Chicago Tribune

Loop BRT Buses Fail To Deliver On Promise Of Faster Service – Chicago Streetsblog; CTA Offers Lame Excuses – DNA Chicago

Waiver From Fed ID Law Expiring, But Illinois Licenses Still Good To Fly – Chicago Sun Times

VIDEO: ATS Recaps 2015′s Worst Red Light Running Crashes

American Traffic Solutions presents a bitter tasting end to 2015 with their new video “2015′s Worst Red Light Runners,” which shows, of course, videos of some pretty horrible looking crashes caused by a driver running a red light.

While drivers should never run a red light, the implication from ATS, a major provider of automated traffic enforcement camera technology, is that red light cameras are solely about improving safety.

But if you look at the video, in every case the crash is not occurring just after the light changed to red. In all cases the red light has been on a few seconds before the red light running driver went through the light.

Were they drunk? Or on drugs? On their cell phone or sending a text message?