Tag Archives: Chicago red light cameras
The anti-red light camera train is gaining speed in Springfield.
First, Illinois State Representative David McSweeney proposed a ban on all red light cams statewide.
But more recently, Rep. La Shawn Ford who’s from Chicago, has introduced a bill which would specifically halt Chicago’s RLC system until the city submits a report to the General Assembly addressing all the issues surrounding the system including short yellows, thousands of tickets issued under questionable circumstances and a general distrust of the how tickets are adjudicated.
Ford’s bill would force Chicago to explain how they would fix these problems before allowing the city to restart its program according to the Associated Press.
Emanuel just recently got behind a proposal by Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) and Ald. Anthony Beale (8th) to install pedestrian countdown timers at traffic lights where red light cameras are installed.
The city has 174 RLC intersections. 129 already have countdown timers with five more slated to be installed soon. Costs to install countdown timers at the remaining intersections are estimated to be close to $8 million.
The countdown timers give drivers the ability to see how many seconds are left before the green phase ends allowing them to either slow down or speed up to avoid running the red. The aldermen’s current proposal would also add time to the traffic light’s yellow phase–a change that has proven to decrease red light running, decrease crashes and improve safety.
An explosion of bright orange “parking tickets” landed on the windshields of cars parked in the McKinley Park, Brighton Park and Little Village neighborhoods recently.
But, according to DNA Info, the tickets were not official city issued parking violations but campaign fliers from Pete Demay, a challenger to Ald. George Cardenas in the race for 12th ward alderman. The faux parking ticket challenged Cardenas on his support of the city’s red light and speed camera programs as well as on his vote to privatize city parking meters back in 2008.
“We thought that people should know George Cardenas’ history as it relates to voting for ordinances that hurt everyday working people,” DeMay told DNA Info.
Illinois State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) introduced a bill in Springfield Thursday according to the Daily Herald.
McSweeney cited recent reporting by the Chicago Tribune which strongly questioned the effectiveness of red light cameras on reducing crashes and improving traffic safety.
“Red-light cameras primarily serve as a revenue enhancement tool at great cost to taxpayers,” McSweeney was quoted.
At Wednesday’s Chicago City Council meeting Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) and Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) introduced an ordinance that would put pedestrian countdown timers and increase the yellow light timing at every red light camera intersection according to the Sun-Times.
Beale, Chairman of the Transportation Committee, believes the countdown timers help drivers see how many seconds are left before the traffic light turns yellow allowing them to either stop or speed up to avoid a $100 red light ticket.
Scott Davis Takes Pledge To ‘Ban The Cams’ If Elected Alderman
Scott Davis, candidate for 44th ward alderman, is using Chicago’s red light cameras as a way to raise money for his election campaign.
Davis, who’s been a driving force here to eliminate the city’s speed camera and red light camera programs kicked off his “Ban The Cams Money Bomb” online fundraiser this past Monday.
For the past two years, Davis has organized anti-camera protests all over the city and has spent the last year as an activist Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras.
In the wake of recent Chicago Tribune’s reporting on research showing a failure of Chicago’s red light cameras to improve traffic safety, two candidates for mayor have called for an end to the program.
The Tribune commissioned an academic study of crash data at Chicago red light camera locations which found that the city exaggerated the safety improvements from the cameras and while dangerous T-bone crashes did go down by 15%, rear-end crashes went up 22%–numbers which have caused the researchers to question if there is any traffic safety benefits from the program.
At City Hall Monday morning, Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras held a press conference to again call for an end to the program based on the Tribune report.
Mayoral candidate Ald. Bob Fioretti joined the group’s director Mark Wallace in condemning the camera program and said he would end the program by April 15th if he was elected mayor. He plans to introduce an ordinance to stop the program next month.
That’s the main finding from an extensive research study of Chicago’s red light camera system commissioned by the Chicago Tribune.
The Tribune teamed up with researchers from the Texas A&M University’s Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, who analyzed crash data at RLC intersections before and after the cameras were installed.
The city claims the cameras have reduced dangerous right angle crashes by 47%.
But the Tribune study refutes the city’s numbers saying their analysis shows only a 15% decrease in injury causing T-bone crashes, but a 22% increase in rear-end crashes that caused injuries. At best, the researchers numbers indicate red light cameras have provided no improvement in overall traffic safety or at worst a 5% increase in the number of crashes that cause injuries.
Tuesday the court’s website announced a ruling on the case will be issued Thursday morning.
The court heard oral arguments on Keating v. City of Chicago this past May at the historic Ottawa Courthouse.
Attorney Patrick Keating filed the class action suit in 2010 in Cook County Circuit Court but it got dismissed. This ruling was upheld by the Appellate Court in 2013 and then promptly appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.