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Category Archives: Red Light Cameras

In Florida, Longer Yellow Lights Translating Into Drastic Reductions In Red Light Camera Violatons

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State politicians in Florida have passed laws mandating longer yellow light times at red light camera intersections over the past few years.

Recent data from some Florida RLC intersections are showing tremendous decreases in red light violations after yellow light times have been lengthened according to The Newspaper.

Mayor, Aldermen Move Ahead With Red Light Camera ‘Reforms’

CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld at Tuesday's Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety. Photo credit: Ted Cox/DNA Info.

CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld at Tuesday’s Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety. Photo credit: Ted Cox/DNA Info.

On Tuesday, city lawmakers pushed ahead alleged “reforms” to the city’s red light camera program during a meeting of the City Council’s Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety.

These reforms include giving the public input on the location of new red light cameras, more flexible payment plans for scofflaws, the installation of pedestrian count down timers at RLC intersections currently without the devices and an academic review of the city’s red light camera program according to DNA Info.

These changes to the system were originally proposed by Aldermen Anthony Beale (9th), and head of the Transportation Committee,  Tom Tunney (44th) and Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) several months ago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel jumped on the reform bandwagon after being forced into a runoff election by a then surging Jesus “Chuy” Garcia who made his opposition to the red light cameras part of his campaign.

Anti-Red Light Camera Group Scores Big In City Elections

Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras member Scott Davis hands out fliers at a protest last summer.

Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras member Scott Davis hands out fliers at a protest last summer.

A local group dedicated to eradicating red light and speed cameras from Chicago streets, was able to put a few notches in their political belt during the most recent municipal elections.

Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras
sent their pledge to abolish red light and speed cameras to all city aldermanic and mayoral candidates prior to the election. Eight of those candidates who signed the group’s pledge, won city council seats for the next four years.

Nearly 50 candidates representing races in 30 wards, and four mayoral candidates signed the group’s pledge.

“We want to congratulate newly elected on their impressive victories and express our gratitude to these champions of reform on their election to the City Council” said Mark Wallace, Director of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras.

The list includes three new aldermen–Susan Sadlowski-Garza, Derrick Curtis and David Moore as well as Toni Foulkes, an incumbent who was redistricted out of her current ward but won in the newly drawn 16th ward.

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.