Category Archives: Red Light Cameras

RLC Roundup: Drivers Aim Lawsuit At Tinley Park Red Light Cameras

red_light_cameraIf you’re politically connected in Tinley Park, you don’t have to pay your red light ticket violations.

At least that’s what a new lawsuit filed against the Village of Tinley Park alleges.

According to the Daily Southtown, a pair of plaintiffs claim that the town setup a system that would help village employees, local politicians and friends of the politically connected have their red light connections thrown out.

The newspaper quotes the lawsuit, which says:

State Rep. LaShawn Ford Calls For End To Red Light, Speed Cams

Turn them off and take them down.

That’s the essence of what Illinois State Representative LaShawn Ford wants to do to all red light and speed cameras operating in Illinois.

Ford recently introduced legislation in Springfield–legislation that could come up before the Illinois General Assembly as soon as next month according to NBC 5.

Aljazeera America Investigates Chicago’s Red Light Cameras

Qatar-based international news network Aljazeera America dove into Chicago’s scandal ridden red light camera program Tuesday evening.

Shot beautifully, Aljazeera’s cameras interview the Tribune’s David Kidwell to get most of the lowdown, as well as Barnet Fagel, the Red Light Doctor, who helps prove the city’s yellow lights are often set below federal timing standards.

Kidwell voices, what most people already know, that despite the unseemly nature of the program, the city is too far in debt to ever abandon it.

Here’s the full story, “Putting the brakes on red light cameras.”

Low Turnout At Meeting To Remove Bucktown Area Red Light Cam

A Xerox contractor installs a new 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 in 2014.

Just a handful of Bucktown area residents dropped by Holstein Park on Wednesday night to voice their thoughts on two area red light cameras slated to be permanently decommissioned.

Two red light cameras as Ashland and Diversey and another pair at the intersection of Western, Armitage and Milwaukee have been turned off since March, after a pre-election announcement by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to turn off 50 cameras at 25 intersections across the city.

The intersections, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation, have had crashes fall below a certain metric that made in unnecessary to keep the cameras there. Crashes at Ashland and Diversey have fallen to just 1.31 crashes per million vehicles with zero right angle crashes. At Western-Armitage-Milwaukee, crashes were at 1.99 per million vehicles with zero right angle crashes.

The one hour open house had poster boards extolling the benefits of red light cameras as well as crash data at every RLC intersection in the city.

But perhaps just four or five residents showed up to check out the open house, ask questions and voice their opinion Wednesday evening. Two of the attendees were from the anti-camera group Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras.

Redflex Files To Move Lawsuit From County To Federal Court

Redflex-LogoChicago’s $3 million plus lawsuit against Redflex Traffic Systems should be heard in federal court–not Cook County Circuit Court.

That’s at least what the beleaguered Redflex believes in a notice filed in federal court on Monday, September 21st according to Cook County Record.com.

The City of Chicago is going after Redflex to recover over $300 million in damages because the city believes the company violated the terms of their multi-million dollar contract by breaking their word that it did not bribe any city official to win and retain the city’s red light camera contract.

Redflex management appears to have engaged in a bribery scheme with a former Chicago Department of Transportation official to win and retain the city’s lucrative red light camera program. Company executives used a middle-man to funnel over an alleged million dollars of cash and gifts to the city manager.

New York Man Arrested After Disabling Red Light Camera

Don’t do this home kids.

A Long Island, NY man posted a video of himself “disabling” a red light camera that had issued him six tickets.

Now he’s been arrested.

In his YouTube video, he instructs viewers on how to disable the RLC by using a painting extension rod to simply push up the head of the camera so it would photograph the sky instead of the license plates of motorists.

According to the local ABC affiliate, the man “was charged with four counts of Criminal Tampering 3rd Degree and four counts of Obstruction of Governmental Administration 2nd Degree.”

Redflex Financial Losses Mount In Light Of Bribery Scandal

Redflex-LogoBy The Newspaper.com

Shares in Redflex Traffic Systems tumbled to an all-time low of 15 cents per share September 2nd,  after the firm told Australian investors that it lost $38 million in the last fiscal year. The stock price rebounded mildly this week as it was trading at 22 cents a share as of September 9th.

But shareholders likely now regret rejecting as inadequate Macquarie Bank’s bid to buy out Redflex at $2.75 a share four years ago.

The takeover bid came long before the firm’s corruption surfaced. Redflex now faces the prospect of paying Chicago, Illinois up to $300 million in penalties for lying to city officials. Under the Windy City’s “false claims” ordinance, Redflex may be held liable for denying that it was engaged in bribery, when the facts now show that it was. Former Redflex executive vice president Aaron M. Rosenberg, who is cooperating with federal prosecutors, filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court as a whistleblower with direct and independent knowledge of the bribery schemes. His filing is a formality, as Chicago has already sent notice of its intent to take over the lawsuit.

City Sues Former Red Light Cam Vendor For Over $300 Million

A red light cameras stands watch at Damen & Division in Wicker ParkOut of the frying pan and into the hot molten lava.

That’s what happened to red light camera vendor Redflex Traffic System according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The newspaper is reporting, recently unsealed legal documents show the City of Chicago has filed a lawsuit against Redflex for over $300 million in damages due to alleged ethical misbehavior by the company.

The Australian-based provider of automated traffic enforcement systems has been struggling under a barrage of setbacks including having former CEO being indicted and pleading guilty to operating bribery schemes in Chicago and cities in Ohio to secure contracts.

The scandal has cost the company municipal contracts all over the country.

No more so than in Chicago, which the company lost when the Chicago Tribune reported on how the company had allegedly funneled over a million dollars in cash, cars, homes and gifts to John Bills, the former CDOT manager who helped grease the skids for Redflex to win and retain the city’s red light camera program. When the explosive allegations were reported, Mayor Rahm Emanuel canceled the Redflex contract–the nation’s largest RLC program and far and away Redflex’s most lucrative client.

Anti-Cam Group Plans Southside Protest Saturday

Red light  camera protest signWith all the red light camera news this week, Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras thought it would be a good idea to hold a protest this weekend.

On Saturday August 22nd, the group plans a demonstration at the intersection of 87th & Lafayette from 11 AM to 2 PM.

“This intersection was mentioned in several media reports this week as one of the top revenue generating cameras in the City of Chicago pulling in $5.8 million in infractions since May 2011,” states the group’s press release. “Red Light Cameras were also in the news this week as embattled RedFlex CEO Karen Finley changed her plea to guilty in the $2 million dollar bribery scheme she allegedly engineered with a Chicago transportation official.”

Ex-Redflex CEO Pleads Guilty In Red Light Camera Bribery

Redflex logoIt was truth and consequences for Karen Finley on Thursday when the ex-Redflex CEO pleaded guilty in federal court to her role in a bribery scheme to secure, and grow Chicago’s red light camera program according to the Sun-Times.

In admitting her guilt, she faces up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Finley will be sentenced in February

Finley helped devise a scheme whe.re she funneled cash and gifts to a high-level Department of Transportation manager via a friend of the city employee.

Over a period of years, federal authorities allege Martin O’Malley passed on hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to CDOT manager John Bills. In return, Bills was able to rig the bid for red light cameras to Redflex and help grow the program into the nation’s largest and most lucrative and generate millions of dollars for the red light camera company.