Category Archives: Speed Cameras
Two anti-camera enforcement groups will be targeting 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett at a protest this Saturday, April 19th.
Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras and Cook County Campaign for Liberty will be near Union Park on the city’s near West Side from 11 AM to 2 PM with signs, fliers and manpower to remind drivers of Burnett’s part in passing Chicago’s speed camera ordinance in 2012.
“Now is the time to take action and inform the VOTERS of Chicago about what their elected officials are doing when they are not watching,” group officials say via e-mail. “It’s time to Ban The Cams!”
Burnett was a yes vote for installing speed cameras near parks and schools.
CDOT says the speed cams near Pickard School (2300 block of W. Cermak) and near Burr Elementary (1600 block of N. Ashland) have both finished their warning phase and will start issuing speeding tickets on Wednesday, April 16th.
While the 30-day warning period will start Monday, April 14th outside of Columbus Park (500 block of S. Central Avenue) and near Ogden Plaza Park (300 block of E. Illinois Street).
The 50 speed camera locations are not being turned on all at once, but instead camera sites are being activated slowly, methodically and with a decent amount of publicity to get the word out to motorists.
In addition, the city made a wise decision to keep the speed threshold for ticketing higher than what’s legally allowed to give drivers a further chance to become aware of where the cameras are located and hopefully slow down to avoid a ticket.
Because two local activist groups are planning on spending the next year protesting and working to unseat any alderman who voted for the newly minted camera enforcement system.
Cook County Campaign for Liberty and Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras are teaming up to conduct weekly protests at speed camera and red light camera sites in wards where aldermen support this type of enforcement.
“We intend to hit as many of these aldermen as possible this summer,” explained Cook County Coordinator for Campaign for Liberty. “We want to identify local leaders in every part of the city and take action on these candidates and flip 12 aldermen to no votes so we can get 26 no votes on the city council (to repeal the speed camera program).”
Chicago has flipped on the switch of a handful of new speed cameras and ticketng has begun at one new location.
On Friday, speed cameras at Schaefer Park (2400 block of N Clybourn Ave.) and Francis Xavier Warde School (at 18 W. Superior) began their mandated 30-day warning period.
On Monday, March 31st, cameras near Portage Park (4100 block of N. Central Ave.) will also begin their month long warning period.
However, the cameras near Jefferson Park on the city’s Northwest Side (5400 block of W. Higgins) have completed their warning period and will begin issuing speeding tickets to drivers starting Sunday, March 30th.
Speed cameras near Lane Tech (2500 W. Addison & 3500 N. Western Ave.) and Currie (4900/5000 S. Pulaski & 4900 S. Archer Ave.) High Schools begin issuing speeding tickets on Sunday, March 16th according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
Both camera locations had finished their 30-day warning periods and now will be issuing $35 tickets for going 10 mph over the limit or $100 for going 11 mph or faster on school days between 7 AM to 7 PM.
Drivers must vigilant in school zones as the speed limit automatically drops to 20 mph when children are present.
On Monday, March 17th several other speed cameras near parks and schools begin their 30-day warning period.
Since August, Chicago’s 92 speed cameras have only issued $3.7 million in speeding tickets and the city has only collected $1.5 million thus far according to the Sun-Times.
That’s a far cry from the $70 million in speed camera revenue the city had budgeted for in 2013. Revenues from speed cams were supposed to fund school programs and traffic safety enhancements like painting crosswalks, paying for crossing guards and police staffing.
The bottom line data is that motorists are slowing down at most locations with two speed cam zones seeing drops of 97% between the start of the camera’s 30-day warning period and the present. Horner Park (Montrose side) and McKinley Park (on Pershing) both have shown these precipitous drops.
Three more speed camera locations began issuing speeding tickets with monetary fines on Monday according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
Automated speed enforcement cameras near Union Park (in the 100 N. block of N. Ogden Avenue), Schaefer Park (and the 2400 block of N. Ashland Avenue) and Rosenblum Park (in the 7400 S. block of Jeffrey Blvd.) have all completed their warning phase and have begin issuing tickets.
At the same time, three other speed camera sites began their 30-day warning phase on Monday including near ICCI Academy (in the 6400/6500 block of W. Belmont Avenue and the 3100 block of N. Narragansett), Parsons Park (4600 block of W. Belmont Avenue) and Sherman Park (5400 block of S. Racine Avenue).
Alderman Leslie Hairston (5th) thinks the signs warning drivers of a speed camera zone are not good enough.
After getting two speed cam warnings in the mail recently, the Sun-Times reports Hairston has introduced a resolution for the Chicago Department of Transportation to provide ““clear distinctive signs and/or striping that indicates that a motorist is approaching a school or park safety zone.”
A dozen of her colleagues signed on to her resolution at last week’s City Council meeting.
A resolution does not carry the same legal weight as an ordinance.
“I didn’t even know I was in a zone. There were no signs at all,” she said. “If I’m driving in an unfamiliar neighborhood, then I’m entitled to notice to be able to comply with the law to be a safe driver in a school zone by reducing my speed. It is not fair for a driver not to have a posted sign allowing them to adjust their speed. That’s why we have speed limits posted — so you know how fast you’re legally allowed to go.”
But CDOT doesn’t seem to be buying Hairston’s complaints.
Chicago’s new speed camera program continues to expand at a rapid rate with more cameras starting ticketing and warning periods next week.
On Monday, March 3rd speed cams near Gage Park (2500 block of W. 55th) and McGuane Park (2900 block of S. Halsted St.) have finished their warning periods and will begin issuing tickets.
While cameras near two schools will begin their 30-day warning period that same day outside of Pickard (2300 block of W. Cermak Rd.) and Burr School (1600 block of N. Ashland Ave.
Drivers near speed cameras issuing tickets are supposed to be fined $35 for going six to ten mph over the limit and $100 for exceeding the limit by 11 mph or more.