Tag Archives: Chicago red light cameras
Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras is holding a demonstration against the city’s automated camera enforcement programs Saturday November 9th beginning at noon at Gompers Park, 4222 West Foster Avenue–the location of the city’s first speed cam.
“The group will be calling for the immediate removal of all red and speed cameras throughout the city of Chicago,” says Kimberly Robinson via press release. “C.A.R.L.C. believe that the city’s red and speed light camera program is a violation of its citizen’s constitutional rights and is designed solely to increase the city’s financial coffers.”
The world’s largest copier manufacturer will now oversee the nation’s largest red light-camera program the City of Chicago confirmed Friday morning.
The Chicago Department of Transportation announced Friday it finalized the $44 million contract with Xerox to run the cameras for the next five years. There are options to renew it three times at two years per extension.
Xerox will move immediately to take over the management of the red-light camera program from Redflex, according to CDOT.
Under the new contract, Xerox will charge the city $1,819 per camera per month, which is substantially less than the $4,300 per month Redflex has been charging under the current contract, CDOT said. Officials said the new contract will save $50 million dollars over the next five years.
“Automated red-light enforcement changes drivers’ behavior to reduce the number of crashes and increase the level of safety for everyone,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein. “We plan to continue this important program with a new management team that will both improve the technology and efficiency of the program while saving operating expenses.”
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.
Story updated to reflect correct total contract amount.
License plate covers, sprays and GPS warning devices may be methods for drivers to utilize to prevent expensive speed camera tickets.
CBS 2 reporter Brad Edwards looks into which methods may work…or don’t work in his report.
Here’s the full CBS 2 story, “License Plate Covers, Phone Apps Can Help You Evade Speed Cameras.”
Why did Mayor Rahm Emanuel decide to put 36 red light cameras out of commission on Tuesday?
Reporters grilled Emanuel at a press conference in River North Wednesday on his curious, surprise announcement yesterday that the city would stop red light camera enforcement at 18 intersections.
Emanuel says it has nothing to do with the rollout of speed cameras or even the recent Inspector General’s report but only with safety according to DNA Info.
According to the city, the cameras at these intersections will be decommissioned due to a dramatic decrease in right angle crashes at those locations.
“Automated traffic enforcement, whether through red-light or speed cameras, is about
changing drivers’ behavior,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel via press release. “The cameras at these intersections are now showing a low level of crashes and dangerous angle crashes, which means an enhanced level of safety.”
Several motorists filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of red light cameras back in 2010. But the case was dismissed by the Cook County Circuit Court in 2011 and that ruling was unanimously upheld by the First District of the Illinois Appellate Court in January.
John Bowman, spokesperson for the National Motorists Association, a group that opposed automated traffic enforcement, says their organization is pleased Illinois’ high court has decided to take the case.
“It seems like the appellate court that rejected the original class action suit had to engage in some pretty twisted logic to come to its ruling, such as its observation that the cameras don’t actually record moving violations since they only capture still images,” said Bowman about the prior court ruling. “We hope the Illinois Supreme Court engages in some common-sense collective thinking when considering the facts of the case.”
Simmons Law Firm filed its petition to be heard by the Supreme Court in May.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.
The Chicago Department of Transportation released a list today of 50 speed camera enforcement locations which are slated to be installed by the end of this year.
The city’s Children’s Safety Zone Program allows for speed cameras to be installed within 1/8 of a mile of a school or park. 28 of these initial 50 locations are being installed around parks with 22 locations going in around grammar or high schools. The program, if full implemented could have speed cameras at approximately 350 locations across the city.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein believe the speed cameras will convince drivers to slow down, obey the speed limit and ultimately reduce crashes and improve traffic safety, while critics believe the cameras are primarily to generate revenue.
“The Children’s Safety Zone Program protects children and other pedestrians by reminding motorists to slow down and obey speed laws – particularly in school and park zones,” said Gabe Klein Friday via press release.
August 4-10th is National Stop on Red Week.
But if you live in Chicago, you probably wouldn’t know it.
This annual event promotes the traffic safety benefits of drivers obeying traffic lights by reminding motorists that the red light signal means it’s time to hit the brakes.
But, despite being America’s red light capital with 384 RLCs and raking in approximately $70 million in red light camera revenue in 2012, there’s very little educational outreach by the City of Chicago or the Department of Transportation.
However, according to Active Transportation Alliance’s Charlie Short, who manages CDOT’s Bike Safety Education program, CDOT and Chicago Police conducted a handful of enforcement events this week concentrating on promoting stopping at red lights.
According to the Southtown Star newspaper, many south suburban towns are becoming disenchanted with red light cameras.
In a very comprehensive piece, the Star reports in some municipalities, as promised revenues from red light camera tickets have fallen off or never materialized in the first place, RLC contracts are not being renewed and cameras are coming down in some places.
In some cases, red light camera companies like Redflex, Redspeed Illinois and Gatso, are raking in six figures revenues while their client municipalities make disproportionately less.
Often RLC companies are guaranteed a certain amount of “maintenance” fees or video transmission fees per month which in rare cases towns have months and years where they never see a penny of revenue.
However, there are also cases where some south suburban towns rake in some big bucks.
Another revelation is that many towns are seeing crashes being reduced where RLCs are installed.
The main take away from the piece however, is that in the end, it’s the companies that seem to be walking away with the lion’s share of the revenue generated at red light camera intersections.
Read the Southtown Star’s full, and very comprehensive investigation, “Where the red-light green is going in the Southland.”
But based on the total value of the contract, that number will probably grow to as many as 300.
The contract with Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions was finalized July 15 and has a potential to pay ATS $67 million over five years. Based on that dollar amount and the payment terms in the contract, it seems the city is poised to ultimately employ the maximum 300 speed cam locations allowed under the law.
While more than 1,500 “Children’s Safety Zones” — intersections within one-eighth of a mile from a school or park — were identified by the city, it’s only allowed to erect cameras at 20 percent of those locations. Although, according to the Chicago Department of Transportation, the initial 50 locations have not been finalized.
But according Charles Territo, spokesman for American Traffic Solutions, the company’s staff and contractors are now in Chicago and actively preparing for the imminent camera installations.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.