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City Extends Redflex's Contract For Red Light Cameras Again

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 26, 2013 8:50PM

2013_3_2_redflex_camera.jpg Like a smoker who keeps saying “one more cigarette” before quitting, the Emanuel administration extended Redflex Traffic Systems’ contract for maintaining Chicago’s red light cameras indefinitely Friday.

It’s the second time the city has extended the beleaguered company’s contract since the Tribune reported in October that Redflex provided hotel accommodations and trips for former Transportation Department official John Bills, who had oversight over the red light camera program. An independent investigation conducted by Redflex’s Australian parent company revealed they paid $2.03 million to a consultant in an arrangement where it’s believed Bills received some of the money.

The city says the reason for the latest extension is to ensure a smooth transition of the red light camera program between Redflex and the company the city chooses to replace them. DNAInfo Chicago reports delays in the bidding process have pushed back the deadline for proposals to May 10. Mayoral spokesman Bill McCaffrey told the Sun-Times he doesn’t know how long Redflex’s contract will be extended, but that it’s being done to ensure “the relationship comes to an end.”

“The red-light program aims to increase safety and reduce the number of dangerous angle crashes. We are not gonna interrupt the program while selecting a new vendor. During the transition period, their contract will be extended to ensure operational continuity.”

They keep on saying "safety," but we keep on hearing "revenue."