Category Archives: Speed Cameras
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.”
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.