Tag Archives: 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.
A legal challenge to Chicago’s red light cameras was dismissed Thursday by the Illinois Supreme Court — a result that came about after two judges recused themselves and the remaining four were split on the matter.
“In this case, two Justices of this Court have recused themselves and the remaining members of the Court are divided so that it is not possible to secure the constitutionally required concurrence of four judges for a decision,” the short decision states. “Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed. The effect of this dismissal is the same as an affirmance by an equally divided court of the decision under review but is of no precedential value.”
The class action lawsuit argued that all Chicago red light tickets issued between 2003 and 2006, before a state law was passed to allow red light camera enforcement in eight counties — Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, Will, McHenry and St. Clair — were invalid.
The lawsuit also contended every red light camera ticket issued in the city beyond 2006 is invalid because Chicago never drafted a new ordinance after the state enacted its red light camera law in 2006.
The city has always argued it had the right to establish the program under home rule authority.
Tuesday the court’s website announced a ruling on the case will be issued Thursday morning.
The court heard oral arguments on Keating v. City of Chicago this past May at the historic Ottawa Courthouse.
Attorney Patrick Keating filed the class action suit in 2010 in Cook County Circuit Court but it got dismissed. This ruling was upheld by the Appellate Court in 2013 and then promptly appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.
But a little rain won’t be enough to deter the Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras from protesting Saturday afternoon on the city’s South Side.
The group, which has held quite a number of protests against both red light and speed cameras at locations across the city the past year and a half.
Saturday they’ll be holding signs and handing out fliers at the intersection of 63rd and Martin Luther King Drive from 11 AM until 2 PM.
The group wants area drivers to know Willie Cochran, the alderman for the 20th ward where the cameras are located. As a member of the Chicago City Council, Cochran voted for the speed cameras two years ago.
Their hope is they can convince the alderman to sign their pledge to repeal the city’s lucrative red light and speed camera programs.
In a devastating report on how the timing of yellow lights are set at Chicago’s traffic signals, WBEZ reporter Odette Yousef finds the city has not been following tried and true traffic engineering standards.
While none of what Yousef finds is news to well informed Chicago drivers, her research does a great job of explaining the issue.
In Yousef’s researh, she found that virtually no government entities set the yellow light times at virtually all traffic signals the same length–three seconds.
A recent poll says just 6% of 200 responding transportation agencies set amber times using this one size fits all approach.
In a recent report, the Chicago Tribune digs deeper into revelations many Chicago red light camera tickets have been issued despite being a tenth of a second under the three second federal standard.
The Tribune story expands upon the issue originally reported at the Expired Meter, when anti-camera activist Barnet Fagel was fighting a handful of RLC tickets and the Administrative Law Judge hearing the case dismissed two tickets based on short yellow light times.
The ALJ stated on the record that he was dismissing many tickets because of the sub-3 second yellow times.
“We’re having a big problem with these yellow lights,” Sussman said during the hearing in July. “Sixty to 70 percent are coming up under three seconds.”
With city elections on the horizon for 2015, one local group is asking candidates for Chicago alderman to sign a pledge to vote for repealing the city’s red light and speed camera programs if they get elected.
Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras announced its new candidate pledge this week as part of their ongoing campaign to inform drivers about the cameras and voters about which aldermen voted for the city’s speed camera program.
“Red light cameras and speed cameras are unsafe, unfair and unconstitutional” said Mark Wallace, Director of the group. “As we continue our campaign to protest Aldermen who voted in favor of Chicago’s speed camera ordinance, we also want to recognize those elected officials who are championing our cause to ban the cams in Chicago,” said Wallace.
A federal judge last week sided with the former executive vice president of red light camera manufacturer Redflex Traffic Systems who is suing his former employer for wrongful termination. District Judge George H. Wu issued a tentative ruling last Thursday in favor of Aaron M. Rosenberg.
The Australian firm fired Rosenberg after he was caught bribing a top city official in Chicago, Illinois. The company then sued Rosenberg and his wife in an Arizona court. Rosenberg, who lives in Los Angeles, countersued in California Superior Court in February, arguing he was just following orders from the company.
For his suit, Rosenberg served court papers on the Arizona and the California offices of Redflex. Redflex rejected this service, calling the Arizona corporation Redflex Traffic Systems Inc a “sham defendant, which does not exist.” The company insisted on removing the lawsuit to federal court because Rosenberg never worked for a California-based company.
Manned with signs and fliers on all four corners of the intersection of Clark St. and Irving Park Rd., approximately 15 protestors opposed to red light and speed camera enforcement elicited loud and positive responses Saturday afternoon from supportive drivers.
Only one person riding a Divvy bike expressed opposition shouting at the protestors to “just obey the law.”
This was just the most recent stop on the citywide tour of a joint protests being held by Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras and Cook County Campaign for Liberty.
Cars and trucks stopped or passing through the Northside intersection near Wrigley Field honked and yelled out their support for the protestors.
That particular intersection is home to both a red light camera and a speed camera located a half block east on Irving Park.