Category Archives: Speed Cameras
Despite having a cancelled check to prove payment, a local writer is still fending off a city collection agency over a speed camera ticket the city erroneously recorded as unpaid.
Local writer Don DeBat chronicled his drama over a speed camera violation over at Loop North News recently.
DeBat got caught by a speed cam back in May and paid the $35 fine by check within a week.
But in August, he received a letter from the Chicago Department of Finance telling him his ticket was still unpaid and now he owed $70 since the original fine had doubled.
Two days before Christmas the city has announced an expensive gift for Chicago motorists–more speed cameras!
Speed cams near two parks began issuing tickets on Wednesday, December 23rd according to the Chicago Department of Transportation.
Speed cameras near Mulberry Park in the 3200 block of south Archer Ave. and adjacent to Keystone Park in the 4000 block of west North Ave and the 1700 block of north Pulaski Avenue just completed the 30-day warning period. Cameras at the two sites went live in November.
Only after a month-long period of issuing warnings for exceeding the speed limit do the cameras begin issuing tickets with monetary fines.
Here’s One Strategy For Beating A Speed Cam Violation
No sign, no ticket.
At least that’s the way it should be for drivers caught in the tendrils of Chicago’s speed camera program.
For the uninitiated, Chicago’s speed camera enforcement system is a city revenue enhancement program that utilizes close to two hundred automated cameras to ticket motorists who are exceeding the speed limit in locations near schools and parks.
But Illinois state law and the city’s municipal code requires proper signs to be posted to alert drivers of the impending speed enforcement.
If the signs are not there, not posted or are obscured or damaged or lying on the ground, the violation is not technically valid.
In an effort to diminish some of the criticism of recent Tribune reporting on how poorly the city manages its speed camera program, the city’s speed cam vendor released a video showing, to the utter shock of no one, that sometimes cars (and motorcycles) break the speed limit.
American Traffic Solutions (ATS) put together this propaganda video just before the Trib’s stories broke showing some cars and motorcycles driving at unconscionably dangerous speeds including a few at, or over 100 mph.
Of course, no rational people believe driving that fast is a good idea. In fact, most people think it’s stupid, dangerous and maybe even insane.
But rational people also know that Chicago’s speed cameras have little to do with traffic safety and a lot to do with generating income.
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.