I’ve written on this site many times in the past about read light cameras and speeder cameras and whether they actually make Chicago’s streets and intersections safer. The research has shown that red light cameras actually provide a net neutral benefit to Chicago’s streets. That is, studies have shown that overall intersections are not any safer or more dangerous when they have red light cameras. This is research that was done by Texas A&M University’s traffic safety department. I think it is fair to say that if the cameras do not make intersections safer, then they are clearly there to collect extra money for the city.
The same question needs to be asked about Chicago’s speeder cameras. As I wrote earlier this year, a new law went into effect on March 1 that fines drivers caught by these cameras for going 6 mph over the speed limit. Those tickets are $35 and $100 for driving 11 mph over the speed limit. It’s important to point out that these tickets are not moving violations. In response to backlash about this new law, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement that the lower-speed change was due to “an alarming increase in vehicle speeding and traffic fatalities.” Cameras affected are in “Children’s Safety Zones, which are operational near schools when they are in session and children are present, and in parks during hours when they are open.” The city said its goal is to not issue tickets, but to encourage safer driving behavior.
According to Chicago’s ABC 7 News, over 1 million speed camera tickets have been issued since March 1, 2021. Again, we have to ask the question, after all the lost money during the Covid-19 pandemic, is this a money grab by the city? Is this a way for the city to make up for lost revenues? I think the answer is clearly yes. I won’t change my mind unless the city or some other outside group provides data that the areas with these cameras have shown a decrease in car accidents, pedestrian accidents and/or traffic fatalities.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a Chicago car crash or Chicago truck accident, then call Chicago personal injury lawyer, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consultation at 312-614-1076.