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Category Archives: Red Light Cameras

Mayor’s Motorcade Caught Blowing Through Red Lights…Again

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s motorcade was caught running a red light by a city red light camera–again.

This time around it’s two separate incidents both with pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists in view of the camera according to ABC 7′s Ben Bradley. In one case, the SUV in question drives down a street the wrong way after running the red.

This is the fourth report by ABC 7 since last May when Bradley first broke the story.

Southside Anti-Red Light Camera Protest Set For Saturday

Scott Davis hands out anti-red light camera fliers to interested drivers at a summer protest.

Scott Davis hands out anti-red light camera fliers to interested drivers at a summer protest.

Spring weather will bring the crew from the Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras out this weekend for their first protest of 2015.

The group will meet and protest at the intersection of 55th & Western Saturday morning at 11 AM.

This particular location has both red light camera enforcement and speed camera enforcement at nearby Gage Park.

Drivers File New Red Light, Speed Camera Class Action Lawsuit

Gavel LawbookA trio of motorists filed another lawsuit challenging the legality of Chicago’s red light and speed camera programs and are seeking class action status, according to the Sun-Times.

This lawsuit takes the unique approach of claiming the City of Chicago is not following the law when it comes to the noticing aspect of the program.

The first problem, the lawsuit states, is that the make (the name of the car manufacturer) is being listed at OTHR on all speed camera violations that have been mailed to lead footed drivers. However, the municipal code explicitly requires a specific make must be listed in order for the violation to be considered proper.

Aldermen Move To Remove Red Light, Speed Cameras By 2018

A sign warns drivers of speed camera enforcement ahead.

A sign warns drivers of speed camera enforcement ahead.

A group of aldermen is hoping to force a vote at Wednesday’s City Council meeting on an ordinance that would spell the end of both red-light and speed cameras by 2018.

The ordinance, introduced by Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) in early October, has been languishing in the Council’s Committee on Transportation and the Public Way since then.

But now, Sawyer and a handful of aldermen plan on using a parliamentary maneuver to bring it to the floor of the Council for debate and vote on Wednesday.

“We were hoping we would go through the committee process,” said Brian Sleet, Sawyer’s chief of staff. “While were talking about these other ideas for reforming the cameras, we should discuss a realistic way to address these policies. We want to discuss it and see where our colleagues stand.”

Sleet said Sawyer’s plan is a responsible way to rid the city of the unpopular automated traffic cameras by giving the city time to find alternative streams of revenue to replace the tens of millions of dollars in fines generated every year and allow vendor contracts to expire as scheduled. The aim is to end both the red-light and speed camera programs by 2018.

Read more at DNA Info Chicago.

Tribune Links Speed Camera Data To Short Yellow Light Times

red_light_cameraSpeed data used in selecting city speed camera locations seem to show Chicago’s traffic signals have yellow light times that are too short according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Tribune acquired studies conducted with radar guns to survey the speed of vehicles at 168 locations around the city. The data showed that in the vast majority of locations drivers were travelling an average of 5 mph over the posted 30 mph limit.

The newspaper took this data to traffic safety engineers and experts and asked them, based on this data, are Chicago’s 3 second yellow light times set too short?

According to the people the Trib spoke too the answer is an overwhelming–YES.

Mayor Shuts Down Red Light Cameras At 25 Intersections

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announces he plans to remove 50 red light cameras at 25 intersections across the city in a press conference Sunday. Photo credit: Linze Rice/DNA Info.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announces he plans to remove 50 red light cameras at 25 intersections across the city in a press conference Sunday. Photo credit: Linze Rice/DNA Info.

With a month to go in the run off election for mayor, Mayor Rahm Emanuel scrambled Sunday to tamp down the issue of red light cameras by announcing the city has shutdown 50 cameras at 25 intersections.

DNA Info covered the press conference where Emanuel, flanked by a handful of aldermen and Chicago Department of Transportation Director Rebekah Scheinfeld, the mayor explained these 25 intersections were decommissioned due to a “significant reduction of serious crashes” based on Illinois Department of Transportation crash data. In early 2014, the city removed 34 cameras at 16 intersections using the same methodology.

“This is all about the election,” says anti-camera activist Barnet Fagel. “He’s (Emanuel) so predictable–it’s laughable. Don’t be surprised if he takes out more right before the election. If he’s really serious about safety he’d set all the intersections with the proper yellow light times.”

Report: Mayor To Install Countdown Timers At RLC Intersections

Don't Walk signMayor Rahm Emanuel must be feeling the heat of the anti-red light camera movement.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Emanuel has decided to embrace a proposal to install pedestrian count down timers at all 132 red light camera intersections around the city.

While the timers are intended to let pedestrians know how much time they have before the walk light expires, many drivers also find the timers helpful in determining how much time is left before the green light ends. Because Chicago’s traffic lights have the shortest yellow light times (three seconds) allowed by federal standards, the timers assist drivers whether they need to slow down or stop or speed up in order to avoid a $100 red light camera ticket.

Chuy Says He’ll Stop Red Light Cameras His First Day As Mayor

red_light_cameraIt took a while, but now mayoral candidate Jesus “Chuy” Garcia has announced he’s all in on the “ban the cams” movement.

At a news conference surrounded by members of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras on Thursday, Garcia announced he will stop the city’s red light camera program on “Day One” in office if he’s elected mayor according to the Chicago Sun-Times

Garcia had never made the full dismantling of the nation’s largest red light camera program part of his platform before this. His position was to put the program on hold until a top to bottom review was done to see if it could or should be saved.

Report: Former Emanuel Aide Tied To City’s Red Light Cam Vendor

A Xerox contractor installs a red light camera at the corner of Clark Street and Irving Park Road.

A Xerox contractor installs a red light camera at the corner of Clark Street and Irving Park Road.

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.

Jesse White Says Mayor Should “Rethink” Red Light Cameras

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White

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.