Tag Archives: red light cameras
Village officials in west suburban Western Springs say crashes are down at two intersections where red light cameras were installed back in 2009 according to The Doings newspaper.
Crashes dropped at the intersection of Ogden and Wolf Road from an average of 23 in the three years before 2009, to 11 per year since May 2009.
At the village’s other RLC located at 55th and Wolf Road, crashes dropped from seven before the cameras to four in 2009 and just one in 2010, after cameras were installed.
The Illinois Department of Transportation has not released 2011 crash data.
One thing the story and village officials ignored in their analysis is that IDOT changed the way crashes are documented back in 2009–the year the cameras were installed in Western Springs.
RLC Lawsuits Have Poor Record Of Success In Illinois
Mere minutes before the City Council was posed to vote and pass an ordinance which will eventually make Chicago the speed camera capital of the U.S., a lawyer for Simmons Law Firm was filing a class action lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County attacking the legality of the city’s red light camera program.
This lawsuit, as reported in the Chicago Sun-Times, contends that Chicago did not have legal authority to issue red light camera tickets back in 2003 when the city initiated its RLC program.
It was only after 2006, when the Illinois General Assembly passed its red light camera law that would have allowed Chicago to issue these type of violations according to the complaint. The lawsuit asks to recover the $90 fines (now $100) allegedly unlawfully levied against hundreds of thousands of drivers between 2003 and 2006. A successful case could potentially cost the Chicago tens of millions of dollars in refunds.
But this recent lawsuit is not the first salvo in class action taken against Chicago’s red light cameras and not the first case challenging the legal basis for the law.
The original and similar lawsuit was filed on July 2, 2010 on behalf of Elizabeth M. Keating and Paul W. Ketz against the City of Chicago as well as red light camera companies Redflex Traffic Systems and Redspeed Illinois LLC.
However, that lawsuit was dismissed by Cook County Circuit Court Judge Michael Hyman on a motion by the City of Chicago the beginning of August, 2011. But Simmons promptly filed an appeal with the Illinois Appellate Court on August 31, 2011.
The Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety, will convene at 1 PM in City Council Chambers at City Hall next Wednesday to discuss the divisive law Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been pushing, which could have as many as 360 city intersections issuing $50 and $100 tickets for exceeding the speed limit.
The originally scheduled meeting was postponed to allow committee members to gauge constituent sentiment before meeting on the issue according to a Tribune story.
That’s going to leave a mark.
The Chicago Tribune has a piece today eviscerating dramatic safety claims by the city.
For months now, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been touting the safety benefits of red light cameras in regards to reducing pedestrian deaths, to make his emotional case to install speed cameras in Chicago.
60% reduction! Emanuel and his people claimed.
But when asked to provide the raw data or the reports, City Hall claimed it was secret. And even with FOIA requests being made for the info, the Trib never got their report.
According to Sen. Duffy, Transportation Committee members agreed to allow his bill to extend yellow light times at RLC intersections to reduce red light running to move to the floor of the state Senate, as long as a few minor changes were made to the bill.
In an ejaculation of emotion and feel good liberal pablum, the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board came out strongly urging Governor Pat Quinn to sign the speed camera bill in Thursday’s newspaper.
The Sun-Times doesn’t care if speed cameras would just be about generating revenue, because ultimately they believe speed cameras will save the lives of children.
Data Shows $56 Million For First Year At Just 7 Locations
The bill, which would bring speed enforcement cameras to Chicago, despite a few revisions on it’s way from being passed in both houses of the Illinois General Assembly to Governor Pat Quinn’s desk last week, would still help the Windy City rake in a ton of dough.
As originally reported here last week, under the original parameters of enforcement, and using data from the Chicago Department of Transportation study on which the basis of the speed camera initiative was launched, the first year of revenue for just the seven cameras picked for the study would generate close to an estimated $100 million.
However, two key components were changed in SB 965 in order to gain support from members for passage in the Illinois House.
After nearly a year on experimental hiatus, red light light cameras are returning to Elk Grove Village according to CBS 2 News.
In some local races, red light cameras are such a heated issue, a few candidates are making RLCs the major part of their campaign.
Up in Chicago’s 45th ward, while not the major issue of the race, John Garrido a police officer and lawyer is opposed to RLC, while his opponent John Arena supports the cameras saying they improve safety and bring in much needed revenue for the city according to the Sun-Times.
In East Dundee, two candidate for trustee are completely opposed to RLC. In fact, Patrick Clarke and Allen Skillicorn, are both opposed to adding a third camera and want to kill of the town’s RLC program altogether.
“Fining motorists $100 for rolling too far past a line is a highly regressive tax and hurts lower income families,” says Skillicorn.
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.