Tag Archives: red light camera tickets
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.
Total Crashes Unchanged In Before & After Study
This has been the question since red light cameras were first introduced to Chicago intersections under the auspices of improving traffic safety back in 2003.
And now, with City Hall trying to use the claims of safety improvements from Chicago’s red light camera system to rationalize adding speed enforcement to city streets, understanding RLC effectiveness may play into the debate.
The city has always contended its RLC enforcement program has been an overwhelming success and touted its safety benefits to sell the public on the idea of building an equally expansive speed camera system here.
Critics, many of them victims of the $100 camera fines, believe red light cameras are about revenue and not safety.
But a study conducted by the Chicago Department of Transportation on the effectiveness of the city’s red light camera program seems to undermine the city’s own position on the safety benefits of the RLC enforcement.
The study obtained from CDOT through a Freedom of Information request by The Expired Meter, seems to show either amazing safety gains, or mixed results or at worst, safety declines depending on who you listen to.
CDOT did a study of 96 intersections utilizing RLC enforcement and compared crash data for each intersection for two years before the cameras were installed with crash data for the two years after installation.
It’s just an 800 lb. gorilla of a coincidence, so of course Mayor Emanuel will tell you there’s nothing to see here.
But, it turns out one of Mayor Emanuel’s biggest and longest political supporters stands to profit handsomely if Chicago’s speed camera program comes to fruition according to an excellent Chicago Tribune story published Tuesday.
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.
When it comes to speed cameras, things are moving very fast.
Late Wednesday, with record breaking speed the Illinois Senate passed SB 965 on a 32–24 vote.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel pushed the initiative with both House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), but it was Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) who rushed the bill through to passage in just three days.
The bill as originally written, would have defined “Safety Zones” as any red light camera intersection within 1/4 mile of a school, park, community college or university and for enforcement to occur 24 hours a day.
Law Could Make Chicago Speed Camera Capital Of U.S.
That’s the message the city was trying to sell at a press conference on Thursday where Chicago Public School CEO Jean-Claude Brizard and Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy got behind an effort to swing public support behind utilizing the city’s red light cameras to issue tickets for speeding. With very minor adjustments, Chicago’s current RLC’s could be used to enforce speeding violations in addition to issuing red light camera tickets.
“One-third of Chicago children walk to school each day, and we must do everything we can to ensure they get there safely,” said Brizard at UIC College Prep High School. “This new legislation will help us take additional steps to reduce reckless driving and enhance school environments so that they are safe for students and staff, which is vital for teaching and learning.”
Mayor Emanuel is pushing for changes to the state’s red light camera legislation that would allow Chicago to begin using red light cameras to now enforce speeding violations.
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.
Albuquerque New Mexico’s Amber Gray could be called the Queen of red light camera tickets.
Just halfway through National Stop On Red Week, and reports are coming in from around the area on how some area towns are participating.
While the City of Chicago, the red light camera capital of the nation, so concerned with improving traffic safety chooses to ignore a week dedicated to encouraging driving safety.
But other local towns “celebrate” the week by not doing educational outreach, running public service ads or announcements but by just issuing more traffic tickets.
At least that’s how north west suburban Cary is choosing to participate according to Trib Local.
Buffalo Grove’s police department is going undercover to issue red light violations during National Stop on Red Week according to Buffalo Grove Patch.
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.