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City Pulling Red-Light Cameras From Operation At 18 Intersections

By Chuck Sudo in News on Oct 2, 2013 7:00PM

The Emanuel administration announced it would be removing red-light cameras at 18 intersections across the city by the end of January. Mayor Emanuel said it was because the presence of those cameras made the intersections they watched over safer.


The 18 intersections either had one or fewer right-angle “T-bone” crashes or a total crash rate of just 1 percent. CDOT based their total crash rates on the number of annual crashes versus average daily traffic numbers.

Emanuel said in a press release “Automated traffic enforcement, whether through red-light or speed cameras, is about changing drivers’ behavior. Cameras at these intersections are now showing a low level of crashes and dangerous angle crashes, which means an enhanced level of safety.”

Color us confused but why remove the very thing that is ostensibly keeping the intersections safer? Isn't the threat of receiving a ticket for trying to beat a red light worth the investment? This is one of the primary arguments over red light and speeding cameras. Much as Emanuel crows about how the red light cameras led to a change in how people drive (a risible notion) those good habits can be easily discarded when motorists know they aren't being watched.

The changes in driver behavior can also be taken to mean the intersections aren’t as profitable in issuing automated tickets. The announcement comes just as the first speeding cameras in park and school zones are set to begin issuing tickets ranging between $35 and $100, depending on how far over the speed limit motorists drive.

The intersections that will have their red light cameras removed are:

- Osceola and Touhy Avenues
- Kedzie and Devon Avenues
- Harlem and Higgins Avenues
- Sheridan Road and Hollywood Avenue
- Austin and Belmont Avenues
- Cicero and Belmont Avenues
- Halsted and Belmont Avenues
- California and North Avenues
- Wells and North Avenues
- Kostner Avenue and Division Street
- Clark Street and Cermak Road
- California Avenue and 35th Street
- California Avenue and 47th Street
- Pulaski Road and 71st Street
- Wentworth Avenue and 65th Street
- Racine Avenue and 79th Street
- 79th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue
- Stony Island Avenue and 89th Street