Category Archives: Speed Cameras
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.”
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.
Lawmakers there were trying to push through a bill that would allow automated speed cameras in construction zones and near schools to catch speeders and send them tickets in the mail. The bill would have also allowed for bus cameras to catch drivers illegally passing a bus when a bus’s stop arm was engaged while loading or unloading passengers.
However, according to WISH TV, Rep. Edmund Soliday (R-Valparaiso) pulled the bill just minutes before a final reading because he simply didn’t have the votes.
WISH TV contends their reporting quoting camera critics who believe these type of programs are about revenue instead of safety may have inspired debate challenging the bill.
Here’s the full report from WISH TV, “Speed camera proposal hits red light at Statehouse.”
Speed camera enforcement may be coming to Indiana.
Legislators in Illinois’ next door neighbor are considering passing legislation to allow speed camera enforcement in construction zones, school zones or illegally passing a school bus according to WTHI TV.
American Traffic Solutions boasts its speed camera technology is the best in the industry.
ATS won the lucrative City of Chicago speed camera contract based, at least in part, on its performance during pilot tests.
But according to DNA Info, a rash of incidents in the Humboldt Park neighborhood brings the performance of its equipment into question.
It seems a camera located in the 3100 block of Augusta Boulevard has issued the same parked car speed camera violations four times–three tickets and one warning. Oddly, according to the vehicle owner, she was issued tickets the first three times and a warning the fourth time. The normal protocol is for the warning to be issued first before tickets begin being issued.
Six weeks ahead of Chicago’s 2015 municipal elections, nearly 50 candidates for alderman or mayor have signed a pledge to vote to eliminating the city’s red light and speed camera enforcement programs if elected.
Anti-camera group, Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras, sent a letter to every candidate running for alderman or mayor in the upcoming election asking them to sign their pledge to “Abolish Unfair Photo Enforcement in Chicago”.
A total of 46 candidates from 30 Wards have signed the group’s pledge which includes six sitting alderman: Bob Fioretti (2nd), Pat Dowell (3rd), Leslie Hairston (5th), Roderick Sawyer (6th), Anthony Beale (9th, Chairman of Transportation Committee) and Toni Foulkes (15th running in 16th).
Speed cameras in the Gage Park neighborhood will begin issuing warnings for the next 30-days starting Wednesday, January 7th according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
The three cameras are located near St. Gall Elementary School in the 5500 block of S. Kedzie and 3200 block of W. 55th street.
During the 30-day period notices will be mailed to vehicle owners traveling more than five mph over the 20 mph school speed limit on school days (Monday through Friday) between the hours of 7 AM to 4 PM–but only when children are present.
Europe has a lot of speed cameras.
Where red light cameras are the most used type of automated camera enforcement method used in the U.S., speed cameras are the cams dujour in Europe.
And people don’t like them.
Some set fire to them. Others knock them down or use spray paint to obscure the camera lens.
But video prankster Remi Gaillard just mocks the cameras by dressing up in a big box that resembles a speed cam unit and setting off a flash when cars drive by.
And, to paraphrase Chicagoist who tipped us off to this video, it’s all fun and games until the cops show up.
Watch and laugh.
Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras, the local organization opposed to both red light and speed camera enforcement, is making a return trip to the 27th ward this Saturday.
The group has spent the past year protesting at traffic camera sites located in the wards of city council members who voted for the city’s speed camera program.
The group’s first protest this year was in Alderman Walter Burnett’s 27th ward. Burnett was a supporter of speed cameras.
But with the announcement that Burnett, Chairman of the Committee for Pedestrian and Traffic Safety will hold hearings about the problems with Chicago’s red light camera program, the group felt it appropriate to return.