Tag Archives: National Motorists Association
Illinois has a lot of speed traps.
According to the National Motorists Association, Illinois ranks 10th in the nation for speed traps with 477 reported locations.
Texas ranked number one in the U.S. with 1,383 speed trap locations followed by California with 1,076.
The NMA compiled the lists of the worst states for speed traps from data reported to their National Speed Trap Exchange for the last five years.
The video makes the 30-second case that red light camera enforcement doesn’t improve safety in towns where they’re deployed, but do certainly generate revenue.
The NMA’s Gary Biller said the inspiration for the video came from a member.
What the recently released Chicago speed camera data definitively shows is that many of the main collector streets in Chicago are posted in violation of the proper traffic safety engineering principles–principles designed to achieve the smoothest and safest traffic flow.
Most speed zones should be posted at or within 5 mph of the 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic under good conditions according to the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE).
Having anything like 200,000 “speeding” events recorded in that brief period would be totally impossible with posted speed limits set to properly engineered ITE standards.
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.
Group Believes Speed Cameras Will Make Ranking Jump
The Second City Is Actually the sixth city.
At least when it comes to speeding and traffic tickets, according to the National Motorists Association, a motorists rights organization.
In the NMA’s recently released bi-annual rankings of America’s top ticketed cities and states, Chicago comes in as the sixth most likeliest city to get a speeding or traffic ticket.
According to the study, Atlanta won the honor of being the nation’s top ticketed city, followed by Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami and New York rounding out the top five.
From a state perspective, Illinois ranks a lowly 18th. Nevada, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Maryland make up the top five states for ticket traps.
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.
Monday, at the Brookfield village board meeting, trustees spent all of 15 minutes discussing bringing red light cameras to two town intersections, but decided not to go forward with a vote.
At the previous board meeting two weeks prior, the issue came up for discussion again after a full two year hiatus. While Redflex Traffic Systems was the original RLC suitor in 2008, upstart local camera enforcement company SafeSpeed, LLC was being considered as the vendor this time around.
While there was discussion about safety, revenue, and all the typical RLC issues, there were two out of the ordinary issues that killed the cameras.
The first was the additional cost necessary to upgrade the intersections according to IDOT standards in order to erect red light cameras to the tune of over $30,000 according to reports.
Biller, is the head of the National Motorists Association, a motorist advocacy group that has been one of the leading opponents of red light cameras.
His group has been working for years to promote their message that improving traffic engineering and increasing yellow light times at intersections, can do a lot more to reduce red light running and hence, improve safety, than red light cameras can. And that’s without taking millions of dollars a year out of the pockets of drivers.
Biller and the NMA have put a lot of energy into trying to get the word out in Chicago, the red light camera capital of the U.S., by reaching out to the media.
In some cases, the message has been getting through to sympathetic ears in the media. But in the case of the Chicago Tribune, Biller has run into a wall of silence on this issue.
That’s why he’s frustrated.