Tag Archives: Barnet Fagel
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.
It’s that ol’ speed camera “revenue versus safety” argument being discussed in this piece by NBC 5.
One driver complained, despite driving as she describes as “extra, extra slow” she was hit with five speed camera tickets in less than a month near Legion Park in the 3100 block of West Peterson.
Some of Chicago’s yellow lights are too short, according to an administrative law judge who said he’s thrown out “60 to 70 percent” of red light camera tickets he’s come across recently because of the discrepancy.
The city uses the state and federal standard of having yellow lights display for a minimum of three seconds at intersections. But an administrative law judge, who hears appeals from motorists ticketed by red light cameras, said during a hearing this week that he has seen evidence that yellow times are slightly beneath that at some Chicago intersections with red light cameras.
The hearing at 400 W. Superior lasted three hours Monday, after the city sent three lawyers and several department supervisors to defend five tickets being challenged by Barnet Fagel, a video forensic specialist who helps drivers fight red light and speed camera tickets.
Three attorneys, a law department supervisor, a public information officer and a Chicago Department of Transportation deputy director overseeing the city’s traffic camera programs showed up to what normally would be a brief, attorney-free affair. Typically, drivers try to persuade administrative law judges that their ticket should be thrown out by presenting photos and other evidence.
But Monday, city attorneys Alexis Long and Tom Doran spent the first 30 minutes of the hearing challenging Fagel’s expertise and his ability to testify in these matters on behalf of the motorists who were ticketed.
Read more at DNA Info.
The driver stopped.
That’s what Barnet Fagel ascertained when he looked at the video of a driver who was given a red light camera ticket by Chicago after he allegedly took a right on red without stopping.
The minor controversy was sparked by a story by the Tribune’s Problem Solver columnist Jon Yates.
Fagel took it upon himself to analyze the driver’s video to see if he actually stopped.
“He stopped,” says Barnet Fagel. “He definitely came to a complete stop. The first time he tries to stop, but doesn’t come to a complete stop until he pulled up past the stop bar to check oncoming traffic.”
Nine cameras near four city parks (Gompers, McKinley, Garfield, and Marquette) began issuing speed camera tickets with monetary fines between $35 and $100 between October 16th and October 22nd.
According to CDOT, speeding events have dropped by nearly two-thirds between the first of warnings and the third week in ticketing.
After the cameras were first installed back in late August and early September, warnings were issued for a period of 30 days. CDOT says each camera issued an average 507 warnings per day in the first week of operation. But by the third week of issuing tickets, violations for exceeding the speed limit by 10 mph or more had dropped to just 175 per day.
Are speed cameras the answer to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s $300+ million budget shortfall for 2014?
That’s the question CBS 2′s Jay Levine poses.
Could red light cameras be used to give out parking tickets, too?
The City of Chicago, while searching for a new vendor to operate its controversial red light camera program, is asking bidders for ideas on how else to use the cameras, including spotting parking violators.
The city insists it’s just asking at this point and has no plans to use the red light cameras to ticket drivers for anything other than running red lights.
But one critic said the aggressiveness of the city’s camera enforcement “makes my hair stand on end.”
“Chicago has to be the most predatory camera city in the country,” said James Walker, executive director of the National Motorists Association Foundation.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.
But, this past week the plaintiffs’ case was dealt a major blow when the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court unanimously upheld a previous ruling by the Cook County Circuit Court, which dismissed the lawsuit in 2011.
“We are pleased that the appellate court has upheld the validity of our ordinance and dismissed this case in its entirety,” said Chicago Department of Law spokesperson Roderick Drew in an email.
The lawsuit claims the City of Chicago did not have the legal right to establish its red light camera program when it was first created. That’s because the original RLC ordinance was passed in 2003, before the State of Illinois had a law on the books permitting this type of automated traffic enforcement.
Further, the lawsuit argues the city lacked home rule authority to do so, claiming the Illinois Vehicle Code did not permit this type of enforcement at the time. Home rule is the ability for municipalities with populations over 25,000 to pass laws that might normally be issued at the state level.
The Step by Step Process In Fighting A Traffic Ticket
In Part 1 of the series, the Geek gets pulled over for allegedly making an illegal left turn.
PART 2: Returning To The Scene Of The “Crime”
After the CPD squad had departed, I broke out my camera and walked back to the intersection to take some photos.
Admittedly, there were two signs posted, but they were not working. The signs were electrical back lit signs but the lights were burned out. I know this because there were two similar signs on the opposite of the intersection. One was working but the other was not.
I came back to confirm this at night, and yes, three of four lighted signs at this intersection were not working. While admittedly, the signs were readable during the day, they of course are not readable at night. Glad to know the city is so concerned about traffic safety.
UPDATE: Here’s the audio from the Ticket Doctor’s visit with Roe & Roper on Thursday afternoon. State Senator Dan Duffy, who fought against the bill, jumps in about half way through.
Original post below
Conn and Roper, in an on-air conversation with Fox Chicago News reporter Mike Flannery Wednesday evening announced their distaste for this change in the law and will obviously find common ground with the Ticket Doctor.
Tune into 890 AM around 3:15 or stream it live here.