Tag Archives: red light cameras
American Traffic Solutions presents a bitter tasting end to 2015 with their new video “2015′s Worst Red Light Runners,” which shows, of course, videos of some pretty horrible looking crashes caused by a driver running a red light.
While drivers should never run a red light, the implication from ATS, a major provider of automated traffic enforcement camera technology, is that red light cameras are solely about improving safety.
But if you look at the video, in every case the crash is not occurring just after the light changed to red. In all cases the red light has been on a few seconds before the red light running driver went through the light.
Were they drunk? Or on drugs? On their cell phone or sending a text message?
With just a few days left for Chicagoans to take advantage of the city’s Debt Relief Program, the city is on pace to pocket several million bucks and retire tens of thousands of old parking and red light camera tickets.
The amnesty, which began Nov. 15, ends on Dec. 31 and allows for those with past due debt of any kind, including water bills, administrative fines for municipal violations like building code and business license violations, parking and red light tickets to pay off the unpaid violations at the original amount.
However, only debt incurred prior to 2012 is eligible for the amnesty.
The six-week program allows scofflaws to pay the initial fine or debt amount, without any taxes, administrative fines, penalties, interest and collection costs tacked on in the subsequent years.
As an example, a parking ticket fine which has doubled due to non-payment and then interest and collection fees tacked on over the years, will be reduced to the original amount of the fine.
Vehicle owners already on a payment plan are not eligible for fee and fine discounts. In addition any tow fees, boot fees, storage fees, administrative fees or court costs cannot be discounted.
At least that’s what a new lawsuit filed against the Village of Tinley Park alleges.
According to the Daily Southtown, a pair of plaintiffs claim that the town setup a system that would help village employees, local politicians and friends of the politically connected have their red light connections thrown out.
The newspaper quotes the lawsuit, which says:
Chicagoans with older unpaid parking tickets, red light camera tickets and administrative hearing fines can finally catch a break on late fees and fines starting Sunday.
Facing a giant budget deficit and showing over $1.5 billion in unpaid fines from parking, red light tickets and fines for administrative citations like building code violations and drinking in public, Mayor Rahm Emanuel finally relented to calls for an amnesty program during recent budget hearings. The last amnesty was in early 2009 when Richard M. Daley was still in office.
From November 15 through December 31, the city will waive all taxes, administrative fines, penalties, interest and collection costs accrued on tickets issued before 2012.
For example, a parking ticket fine which has doubled and had interest and collection fees tacked on over the years, will be reduced to the original fine amount. With the way fees and fines add up, many people will see up to a 50 percent reduction in the amount of money they owe the city on longstanding tickets.
Unfortunately, only violations or fines from before December 31st, 2011 are eligible for the amnesty, and it only works if you pay it off in this six-week period.
Department of Finance spokesperson Molly Poppe explained that in the previous three amnesty programs, the most recent three to four years of tickets and fines were ineligible as well.
Read more at DNA Info Chicago.
First there was red light cameras.
Then there were speed cameras.
Now, if Alderman Brandon Reilly (42nd) has his way, there may be intersection cameras according to DNA Info.
During city council budget hearings focusing on the Department of Transportation, the downtown alderman discussed the problem of motorists who get stuck in the intersection after their traffic light turns red, thus blocking any cross traffic from moving through the intersection while the light is green. He specifically cited the intersection of Randolph and LaSalle just outside City Hall.
Shares in Redflex Traffic Systems tumbled to an all-time low of 15 cents per share September 2nd, after the firm told Australian investors that it lost $38 million in the last fiscal year. The stock price rebounded mildly this week as it was trading at 22 cents a share as of September 9th.
But shareholders likely now regret rejecting as inadequate Macquarie Bank’s bid to buy out Redflex at $2.75 a share four years ago.
The takeover bid came long before the firm’s corruption surfaced. Redflex now faces the prospect of paying Chicago, Illinois up to $300 million in penalties for lying to city officials. Under the Windy City’s “false claims” ordinance, Redflex may be held liable for denying that it was engaged in bribery, when the facts now show that it was. Former Redflex executive vice president Aaron M. Rosenberg, who is cooperating with federal prosecutors, filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court as a whistleblower with direct and independent knowledge of the bribery schemes. His filing is a formality, as Chicago has already sent notice of its intent to take over the lawsuit.
Red light cameras are not about revenue. They’re about safety.
So why is the tiny village of Lakemoor generating about one third of it’s municipal income from a single red light camera at the intersection of Route 12 and Route 120? And why are crashes actually increasing?
Lakemoor is counting on $1.8 million in red light camera fines to keep the budget of the tiny town of 6000 balanced according to the Daily Herald. In fact Lakemoor’s red light camera program is the most lucrative in the suburbs according to the newspaper.
Yet despite the immense number of tickets being issued, shockingly, crashes and injuries at that intersection are up says IDOT and the Daily Herald.
When Allen Skillicorn was elected as a village trustee in suburban East Dundee, he won running on a platform to rid of that town’s red light camera program.
This week he unveiled a video and a website that he hopes will help him put a stake in the heart of East Dundee’s red light cameras.
A local group dedicated to eradicating red light and speed cameras from Chicago streets, was able to put a few notches in their political belt during the most recent municipal elections.
Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras sent their pledge to abolish red light and speed cameras to all city aldermanic and mayoral candidates prior to the election. Eight of those candidates who signed the group’s pledge, won city council seats for the next four years.
Nearly 50 candidates representing races in 30 wards, and four mayoral candidates signed the group’s pledge.
“We want to congratulate newly elected on their impressive victories and express our gratitude to these champions of reform on their election to the City Council” said Mark Wallace, Director of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras.
The list includes three new aldermen–Susan Sadlowski-Garza, Derrick Curtis and David Moore as well as Toni Foulkes, an incumbent who was redistricted out of her current ward but won in the newly drawn 16th ward.
Next to pensions, the cameras are a close second in the top tier of issues being discussed by the candidates. Even USA Today says so.
One group who’s done an effective job of making the automated traffic enforcement cameras a hot topic is the Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras. They’ve been holding protests around the city for the better part of two years and asked candidates to sign a pledge to dismantle both programs if elected.