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Del Valle Blasts Red Light Cameras

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 15, 2011 3:17PM

2010_11_del_valle.jpg Prior to last night's debate on WTTW, Miguel del Valle held a press conference at the intersection of Halsted and Madison, where he said that he would review how the city is implementing its red light camera program if elected mayor and would reform what he called "oppressive" city driving and parking policies.

“Red light cameras were originally intended for the purpose of protecting pedestrians and reducing the number of automobile accidents at intersections with a history of automobile accidents,” said del Valle who voted for the original legislation allowing RLC enforcement when he was in the Illinois General Assembly. “I want to go back to that original intent.”

Chicago has the most red light cameras of any city in the country and the program generated $64.1 million in revenue in 2009, del Valle questioned whether the program needs to be expanded. He cited a study by University of Illinois professor Rajiv Shah which showed that accidents actually increased at 39 intersections with red light cameras.

Del Valle proposed that, instead of adding more cameras, an extra second of yellow caution light time be added to traffic lights to allow for clearing of an intersection and to facilitate pedestrians crossing the street. Del Valle cited studies in other states that showed cars running red lights decreased dramatically by doing so, which also facilitated removing the red light cameras.