Tag Archives: Chicago red light camera
Since Sunday’s Chicago Tribune story reporting mysterious spikes in red light camera violations several years ago, there’s been pressure from aldermen and the media for a response from City Hall.
Late Wednesday, Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld responded to the controversy with testimony in front of the city council’s Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety.
“The Mayor and CDOT take very seriously the validity of and public confidence in all of our safety programs, including the red light camera program,” Scheinfeld said to begin her explanatory testimony. “Red light camera enforcement is designed to increase safety on Chicago’s streets. Cities across the country, and throughout the world, have been using such technology for many years.”
Did he stop…or not?
Highland Park Puts Redflex On Month To Month Contract
Redflex is still facing fallout from their recent controversy with the City of Chicago. The company lost it’s largest contract when revelations of an alleged bribery scandal were revealed by the Chicago Tribune several months ago.
But other cities are now taking a careful look at Redflex and its practices.
North suburban Highland Park had a contract with Redflex which expired. Now Redflex is on a month to month extension of the contract while the town weighs all it’s options according to Pioneer Press.
Here’s the full story, “Highland Park extends red-light camera contract month to month.”
River Forest Working On Installing 2nd Red Light Camera
UPDATE Tuesday night: The Village of Justice’s village board has voted to put Chief of Police Gedville on administrative leave while the town attorney can conduct an investigation according to the Tribune.
Something weird is going on in the now, ironically named Justice, Illinois.
The small southwest suburban village has two red light camera locations.
RLC vendor SafeSpeed, LLC won the contract last September on the advice of the town’s police chief Robert Gedville, and the cameras went live this past June.
But, according to the Chicago Tribune, Gedville sent unsolicited emails promoting SafeSpeed’s red light camera services to over 50 other suburbs claiming he was a consultant for the company.
Not surprisingly, the Mayor of Justice says Gedville’s actions may violate the town’s policy which prevents city employees to enter into any sort of financial arrangement with a city vendor.
Amendment Could Bring Speed Enforcement To Suburbs
When Mayor Rahm Emanuel fast tracked legislation in Springfield to allow Chicago to employ speed camera enforcement within 1/8 of a mile of schools and parks back in November, drivers wondered if and when speed cameras would come to their town.
Now, less than three months later, and only 21 days from when the original bill was signed by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, speed cameras may be expanding into towns outside Chicago sooner than later.
In a recently introduced amendment to SB0952 sponsored by Senator Antonio Munoz (D-Chicago), other Illinois municipalities may be able to utilize the same enforcement technology Mayor Emanuel pushed so hard for, if the bill can make it through the Illinois General Assembly.
Munoz cites Mayor Emanuel’s work to bring speed camera enforcement to Chicago as the inspiration for the bill.
Lottie Williams just got back from contesting a red light camera ticket on Tuesday.
She lost, but then called Fox Chicago News to share the crazy story of why she should not have been liable for the ticket.
It starts with her brother and sister borrowing her car. The two got pulled over on the Southside of Chicago and were arrested.
The Illinois Department of Transportation lists 84 municipalities with red light camera programs.
As of January 3, there will be one town less using cameras to enforce red light violations–west suburban Naperville.
According to the Daily Herald, in “a surprise move” , the Naperville city council voted to not renew their optional fourth year of their contract with their RLC vendor.
Part of the decision was made for the city council as two of the RLC locations (Rt. 59 & North Aurora Road and Route 59 & Diehl Road) were going to be yanked due to construction slated to begin near the end of 2012.
Just as it looks like the Illinois General Assembly is poised to pass a law to enable Chicago to become the automatic speed camera enforcement capital of the U.S., Illinois PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) has just released a report detailing the pitfalls of such systems.
The group’s report, “Red Light Cameras Ahead: The Risks of Privatizing Traffic Law Enforcement and How to Protect the Public,” looks at the dangers these programs pose for municipalities, taxpayers and motorists. In many cases, Illinois PIRG believes revenue and profits often come before driver safety.
“Our report found that too many cities wrongly sign away power to ensure the safety of citizens on the roads when they privatize traffic law enforcement, said said Celeste Meiffren, Field Director of Illinois PIRG. “Nationally, automated traffic ticketing tends to be governed by contracts that focus more on profits than safety. That shouldn’t happen.”
Meiffrin is quick to point out that Illinois PIRG does not take a stance on whether or not traffic camera enforcement promotes safety.
“We really don’t take a stance on whether camera enforcement is a good or bad thing,” Meiffrin contends. “But in most cases it is not about public safety but about revenue. There are questions about the effectiveness of red light cameras but our report doesn’t address these issues.”
The City of Chicago has the largest automated traffic enforcement program in the nation with 191 red light camera equipped intersections and over 382 cameras issuing $100 tickets.
Two months ago, the town decided to move ahead with RLC enforcement and had SafeSpeed do some traffic studies.
The studies came up with three intersections to install cameras which includes Thatcher Ave. and North Ave., Lake St.t and Harlem Ave., North Ave. and Harlem.
Red light camera violations in Naperville are falling according to the Daily Herald newspaper.
According to a report generated by the west suburban town, RLC violations have fallen significantly at three intersections.
At one intersection, Route 59 and North Aurora Road, red light tickets reportedly have dropped 65%. While Route 59 and Diehl Road has fallen by 42%, and the intersection of Ogden Avenue and Aurora Avenue are down 58%.
Interesting enough, Naperville claims crashes are down at some RLC intersections as well.
While Naperville seems to be proud of the reduction in red light camera violations, part of the decrease in violations could be linked to the city eliminating enforcement of all right turn on red violations at RLC intersections but one back in July 2010.