I’m not sure how I missed this last week, but Chicago Alderman and 2015 mayoral candidate, Bob Fioretti, has called for the end of red light cameras in the city. According to the great website, dnainfo.com, Fioretti said at a news conference at City Hall in December that he would submit local ordinance that would put an end to red light cameras. “The majority of red-light cameras do little to create safety,” Fioretti said, citing a Texas A&M study showed they might help reduce so-called T-bone crashes of cars crossing in the intersection, only to increase rear-end, same-direction collisions involving cars either speeding up or slowing down at a yellow light.
He also said they were riddled with corruption and cited how the city ended its relationship with the original camera firm, Redflex, in a case that found city and company officials charged with federal crimes, with one already having pled guilty.
“The entire program is fraught with failed oversight, corruption and unfair enforcement,” Fioretti added.
According to this article Chicago has the largest traffic camera program in the country with 350 red-light cameras and 130 speed cameras.
This is quite a development as I have written on this blog over and over again that red light cameras do not make our intersections safer. In fact, as Alderman Fioretti pointed out, some studies have claimed that they make intersections more dangerous because drivers are timid and often stop short when they should drive through.
I have not seen a response from Mayor Emanuel on this issue but I seriously doubt he would pull the plug on traffic cameras at this point. City Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld defended the cameras in a statement: “The act of running a red light is against the law and can have disastrous and life-altering consequences including serious injury or death,” she said. “Traffic safety is a serious and important issue, and red-light enforcement cameras play a key role in helping to improve public safety.”
I have not decided who I am going to vote for next month but this is an issue I will definitely keep in mind before going to polls.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.