Tag Archives: red light cameras
Here’s Part 2 of a recent conversation The Expired Meter’s nitwit publisher The Parking Ticket Geek had with Frank Avila, the host of CAN-TV‘s Issue Forum.
The two discussed the city’s notorious parking meter lease deal, the new speed camera program, ways to possibly avoid speed camera tickets as well as tips for fighting improper parking tickets.
Here’s Part 1 of the interview with the Geek if you, like many, many others with much better things to do, happened to have missed it.
Drivers honked, waved and some even stopped to sign petitions in the 4200 block of North Foster Avenue Saturday afternoon in the shadow of the city’s very first speed camera adjacent to Gompers Park.
A small group of about 15 protestors from the Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras, along with members of the Cook County Campaign for Liberty and National Motorists Associationlined both sides of Foster holding signs and waving to the many honking cars from 12-3 Saturday.
“Lots of people are waving and honking in support,” said organization founder Mark Wallace, a real estate developer and radio host of WVON 1690 AM. “We’ve only had two people in favor of the cameras but most people support our position.”
The group, based out of the city’s South Side, is mounting a petition campaign to get a referendum on the ballot to stop the city’s 10-year old red light camera program and brand new speed camera program.
By Moe Torrist
On November 1, 2013, you announced your resignation as Chicago’s Transportation Commissioner. In the wake of that announcement, you have received the heartfelt thanks from those who seek to eliminate cars from the streets of Chicago.
But please don’t think that Chicago’s motorists are ungrateful for all that you (along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel) have done, in your brief two and a half year stint as Transportation Commissioner. To that end, we, the motorists of Chicago, would like to offer our sincere thanks for all of your good works. In particular, we would like to sing your praises for all of the following accomplishments…
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.
Florida has taken a big step to increase safety in their state by extending the yellow light time at all signalized intersections according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Critics of Sunshine State red light cameras have complained loudly enough to force an increase in amber times from .4 to .5 seconds. The state mandated minimum yellow light time will now be 3.4 seconds.
All intersections with red light cameras must be changed by the end of the year, while the state is giving municipalities and counties until June 30, 2015 at all other traffic signals.
The story talks to a few people in law enforcement and in the automated camera enforcement industry who essentially scoff at the notion that extending the yellow lights will have an effect.
But one academic at the University of South Florida believes red light running will drop.
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.
Gompers Park on the city’s Northwest Side has the honor of having Chicago’s first speed cameras.
Two camera units will monitor the speed of drivers around the park, with one aiming westbound at the 4200 block of West Foster and the other southbound in the 5100 block of North Pulaski.
The majority of the installation of the unit on Foster was completed on Saturday. The unit around the corner on Pulaski was put up Monday morning, with crews using a truck-mounted crane to put it in place.
Albany Park resident Evan Krutcher, pushing a stroller along Foster Avenue, was happy about the speed cameras going in there.
“I’m all for anything that will make people drive more safely,” said Krutcher. “I’m sure some people won’t like getting tickets in the mail. But I think people should obey the speed limit.”
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.
Highland Park Puts Redflex On Month To Month Contract
Redflex is still facing fallout from their recent controversy with the City of Chicago. The company lost it’s largest contract when revelations of an alleged bribery scandal were revealed by the Chicago Tribune several months ago.
But other cities are now taking a careful look at Redflex and its practices.
North suburban Highland Park had a contract with Redflex which expired. Now Redflex is on a month to month extension of the contract while the town weighs all it’s options according to Pioneer Press.
Here’s the full story, “Highland Park extends red-light camera contract month to month.”
River Forest Working On Installing 2nd Red Light Camera
Chicago’s embattled red light camera vendor, Redflex Traffic Systems, released a report Monday detailing improper and potentially criminal behavior by the company, a hired consultant and a former city official.
The report has prompted one alderman, Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd), to call for a halt to an effort by the city to seek a new five-year contract for the city’s red light camera program.
The filing with the Australian Securities Exchange by Redflex Holdings, the parent company of Arizona-based Redflex Traffic Systems, summarizes a report by Sidley Austin, the company hired to investigate potential ethical issues brought to light by the Chicago Tribune in October, 2012.
Headed by former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman, the report contends the company’s relationship with former Chicago Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner John Bills, who oversaw the city’s red light camera program, was not only improper but “will likely be considered bribery by the authorities.”
According to the report, Redflex paid for vacation-related expenses for at least 17 separate trips taken by Bills between 2003 and 2010. This included hotel rooms, airline flights, car rentals, meals and golf games. Bills also received a computer and played golf and ate meals locally on the company’s dime here in Chicago.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago
Whadya’ doing Thursday morning?
Hopefully listening to Outside the Loop Radio at 10 AM.
That’s because that nitwit, the Parking Ticket Geek joins Mike Stephen, the suave and handsome host of Outside the Loop Radio this Thursday morning.
Stephen and the Geek will discuss the recent Illinois Appellate Court ruling on Chicago’s red light camera program as well as the delays in changing the city’s parking meters to the newer, higher rates.