Tag Archives: Chicago red light camera
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.
West suburban DuPage County has all but killed off any chance red light cameras will come to county-controlled intersections in the near future, when the RLC measure was unanimously voted down in the county’s transportation committee Tuesday night according to the Daily Herald.
The two proposals discussed would have given DuPage municipalities to install RLCs at county-controlled intersections which had five or more crashes in the past year. About 120 intersections in the county met this standard. In one proposal, 25% of the revenue generated at an RLC, would have gone to the county.
Alderman Ray Suarez (31st) wants to resurrect the idea of installing pedestrian count down timers at all intersections with red light camera enforcement, to help drivers know how much time is left before the light turns yellow.
Bill Could End Camera Enforcement Of Right Turn On Red
Last year Illinois State Senator Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) tried to kill red light camera enforcement statewide.
But Senator Duffy’s “ban the cam” bill ran into a roadblock of sorts.
Duffy’s bill ran afoul of Senate President John Cullerton, who co-opted the bill with the help of pro-RLC forces. President Cullerton actually brought in red light camera lobbyists in to help re-write the bill, watering the bill down to be nearly unrecognizable from its original intent.
In the end, the bill got passed as an “RLC reform” bill. A bill ironically, with next to no real reform in it.
But Duffy’s defeat on the issue has not deterred him as this week he tries to take on red light cameras again.
This time he’s attacking RLCs from a different angle.
A right angle.
Duffy recently introduced Senate Bill 26, a bill which would prohibit camera enforcement of right turn on red violations.
You’ve heard of speed traps.
There’s a new type of motorist trap–the stop trap.
At least that’s what Barnet Fagel, aka The Ticket Doctor calls them.
Fagel has discovered a “stop trap” out in Nortfield at the intersection of soutbound Waukegan Road and Willow Road.
There’s no turn on red allowed at that intersection, but there doesn’t seem to be a sign prohibiting right on red. But if you look more closely, one can see the ROR sign being obscured by a large tree.
In addition, there’s a red light camera monitoring the intersection and giving out $100 tickets if you accidentally make a right on red because you didn’t see the sign.