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These Red Lights Make The Most Green For Chicago

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Feb 28, 2012 8:40PM

It's no surprise the red light cameras in Chicago quickly became a big moneymaker for the city. With a camera doing all the work, there's no way to talk yourself out of a ticket. They're especially annoying. Since the tickets come by mail, they always come as a surprise, sometimes weeks after the violation.

Well if you've been cruising through these intersections, it's more likely you'll be throwing down an extra $100 for the city's coffers. CBS Chicago has compiled a list of the red light cameras that are making the city some serious green.

See a chart below of the intersections to avoid. The top cash cow is the light at the corner of Belmont Avenue and Lake Shore Drive which made the city $1.57 million in 2011. That's the only North Side intersection to make the list, though. Most of the intersections are on the South Side.

The city still insists they exist to make the city safer, but that's never been proven. In fact, back in 2008 a study showed red light cameras increase accidents. That's not even taking into account Chicago's shortened yellow lights.

CBS writes:

“My own research has shown that red light cameras do not offer a significant safety benefit,” University of Illinois Prof. Rajiv Shah says. “I think the purpose of the red light cameras, the way they’re being used now is to raise revenues for cities.”

We compared the CBS revenue list to The Expired Meter's list of intersections eligible for a speeding camera soon. That includes the Belmont-LSD moneymaker and Western-Van Buren. Despite strong public opposition to the speeding camera law, Gov. Pat Quinn signed it into law on Feb. 6. Emanuel has been less than forthcoming with reporters' requests for information on how the speeding camera legislation came to be. Get ready to empty your pockets. It looks like speeding camera revenue will dwarf red light camera revenue.

CBS Chicago compiled this list of the red lights that issued the most tickets in Chicago in 2011. They also have data for cumulative years and suburban cameras.