Category Archives: Speed Cameras
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not happy.
That’s because one of his pet revenue projects, the city’s speed camera program, has been proven to have issued hundreds of thousands of improperly issued violations by the Chicago Tribune.
The Tribune estimates the city has issued nearly $2.5 million in erroneous ticket fines.
The Tribune discovered problems with nearly every aspect of speed camera enforcement. In some cases signs were not installed properly, tickets were issued around schools when school was out, or were issued after parks closed or when parks were under construction.
In an effort to make himself the most hated person on the 6th floor of City Hall, reporter David Kidwell dropped another blow to Chicago’s automated traffic enforcement industry in Wednesday’s Chicago Tribune.
The Trib story provides overwhelming evidence the city’s speed camera program has been issuing tens of thousands of erroneous violations costing unsuspecting drivers millions of dollars in fines.
Among the findings, the Tribune discovered more than 22,000 speed cam tickets were issued around parks which were closed for construction, over 11,000 speeding tickets were issued around parks past the parks posted hours, and 28,000 tickets were issued at locations where warning signs were either not posted or obscured.
Not only that, a random review of 1,500 tickets around school zones found a third had no children present in the video or photographs. And 62,000 school zone speeding tickets were issued during the summer–when school was out.
In fact, a protest spearheaded by Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras, took place Monday to vent the frustration of locals–including Ald. George Cardenas.
Cardenas and his constituents point out the location selected by the Chicago Department of Transportation is not protecting any children due to the lack of said juveniles in this heavily industrial stretch of Archer Avenue. Sure, there’s a playlot nearby, but well out of view and far from the camera.
The Chicago Department of Transportation announced Friday that new speed cameras outside Mulberry Park and Keystone Park will begin issuing warnings next week.
The cameras were supposed to be turned on earlier, but construction projects in and around both parks delayed activation according to CDOT.
One camera outside of Mulberry Park (in the 3200 block of S. Archer) and three cameras near Keystone Park (in the 4000 block of W. North Ave. and 1700 block of W. North Ave.) will begin issuing warnings Monday, November 9th.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel created the city’s speed camera automated traffic enforcement program to protect kids from speeding vehicles.
At least that’s the official premise of a program called the Children’s Safety Zone Program.
Speed cams would be installed near parks and schools to slow down motorists and theoretically reduce kids being hit and injured or killed by speeding vehicles.
But some Chicagoans are angrily questioning why some speed cameras are not actually placed adjacent to the parks they’re mean to protect.
CBS 2′ Pam Zekman reports on a handful of locations where speed cams are placed within the legal parameters of the law (within 1/8th of a mile from a park or school), but seemingly not within the spirit of why the program was created.
DNA Info’s comprehensive look at the city’s year and a half old automated camera program show’s the cameras have issued nearly 1.6 million violations with fines totaling nearly $58 million dollars since the first cameras began issuing tickets in October 2013.
Every day, nearly 3,000 motorists are hit with a speed cam ticket issued at 142 camera locations near parks and schools, and averaging fine revenue for the city of about $109,000 per day.
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.
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.
A 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.
Two Northside speed cameras are racking up tickets and raking in big bucks for Chicago according to DNA Info.
Speed cameras placed near Senn Park and Warren Park have issued fines over $1 million dollars combined. Fines issued by Warren Park (6500 block of N. Western Ave.) speed cams totaled over $700,000 since it began issuing tickets in late 2013 to present, while Senn Park (5800 block of N. Ridge) cameras issued over $450,000 in fines.
There’s many interesting takeaways from the data. However, one thing that’s curious is that while ticketing at those two locations does seem to be generally declining, there are interesting peaks and valleys along the way. But, pending more months of data, there seems to be a seasonal nature to the ticket volume.
Here’s DNA Info’s full story, “North Side Motorists With $1.17 Million in Fines.”