Category Archives: Red Light Cameras
A report from the International Business Times has linked a former aide to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, when he was a member of Congress, to Xerox State and Local Solutions, Chicago’s new red light camera vendor.
IBT reports Emanuel’s top congressional aide John Borovicka joined a lobbying firm working for Xerox just days before the city awarded the contract to the copier company now dabbling in the automated traffic camera industry.
Borovicka and Emanuel have close ties according to the report. He was Emanuel’s campaign manager when he ran for congress in 2002 and then joined his staff, working for him for six years.
Coincidentally, Borovicka joined the lobbying firm just 18 days before snagged the $44 million contract to operate the nation’s largest red light camera program. City records show Borovicka met with Emanuel several times before the contract was awarded.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel “has to rethink” red light cameras to win his runoff election.
That’s one piece of advice Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White gave Emanuel via NewsRadio 780.
White co-chairs the mayor’s re-election committee and feels the controversy surrounding red light cameras is losing him votes.
The 80-year old politician has been Secretary of State since 1999, a department he helped cleanup after his predecessor George Ryan became governor, streamlining a system which oversees and manages millions of vehicle registrations and driver’s licenses every year.
The anti-red light camera train is gaining speed in Springfield.
First, Illinois State Representative David McSweeney proposed a ban on all red light cams statewide.
But more recently, Rep. La Shawn Ford who’s from Chicago, has introduced a bill which would specifically halt Chicago’s RLC system until the city submits a report to the General Assembly addressing all the issues surrounding the system including short yellows, thousands of tickets issued under questionable circumstances and a general distrust of the how tickets are adjudicated.
Ford’s bill would force Chicago to explain how they would fix these problems before allowing the city to restart its program according to the Associated Press.
Emanuel just recently got behind a proposal by Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) and Ald. Anthony Beale (8th) to install pedestrian countdown timers at traffic lights where red light cameras are installed.
The city has 174 RLC intersections. 129 already have countdown timers with five more slated to be installed soon. Costs to install countdown timers at the remaining intersections are estimated to be close to $8 million.
The countdown timers give drivers the ability to see how many seconds are left before the green phase ends allowing them to either slow down or speed up to avoid running the red. The aldermen’s current proposal would also add time to the traffic light’s yellow phase–a change that has proven to decrease red light running, decrease crashes and improve safety.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s motorcade is at it again.
News website Crime in Wrigleyville and Boystown reports the mayor’s two car motorcade has been caught by red light cameras running the red five times since November.
Illinois State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) introduced a bill in Springfield Thursday according to the Daily Herald.
McSweeney cited recent reporting by the Chicago Tribune which strongly questioned the effectiveness of red light cameras on reducing crashes and improving traffic safety.
“Red-light cameras primarily serve as a revenue enhancement tool at great cost to taxpayers,” McSweeney was quoted.
At Wednesday’s Chicago City Council meeting Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) and Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) introduced an ordinance that would put pedestrian countdown timers and increase the yellow light timing at every red light camera intersection according to the Sun-Times.
Beale, Chairman of the Transportation Committee, believes the countdown timers help drivers see how many seconds are left before the traffic light turns yellow allowing them to either stop or speed up to avoid a $100 red light ticket.
So he wants to move it to Las Vegas.
That’s what lawyers for the former Chicago Department of Transportation official who initiated and oversaw the city’s red light camera program according to the Chicago Tribune.
Bills is accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and gifts for allegedly making sure Redflex Traffic Systems won and retained the lucrative contract for the Chicago red light camera program.
In a court filing, Bills’ attorney Nishay Sanan wrote:
Six weeks ahead of Chicago’s 2015 municipal elections, nearly 50 candidates for alderman or mayor have signed a pledge to vote to eliminating the city’s red light and speed camera enforcement programs if elected.
Anti-camera group, Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras, sent a letter to every candidate running for alderman or mayor in the upcoming election asking them to sign their pledge to “Abolish Unfair Photo Enforcement in Chicago”.
A total of 46 candidates from 30 Wards have signed the group’s pledge which includes six sitting alderman: Bob Fioretti (2nd), Pat Dowell (3rd), Leslie Hairston (5th), Roderick Sawyer (6th), Anthony Beale (9th, Chairman of Transportation Committee) and Toni Foulkes (15th running in 16th).