‘Chuy’ Garcia says he’ll remove red light cameras if elected

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CHICAGO -- Mayoral challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia says he’ll shut down the city's controversial red light cameras on his first day in office.

Garcia called the automated ticketing program  a “rip-off” effort from Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

It’s a new position for Garcia on the cameras. In December he said he would keep only camera’s proven to reduce accidents.

The Mayor has agreed to install countdown lights at all camera intersections to warn drivers of how much time they have to make the light.

Garcia calls that trying to put a band aid on a broken system.

However, Garcia didn't specify how he’ll replace the $70 million a year in lost revenue.

The camera program has been troubled for years. An executive for Redflex, the original contractor, was found to have paid bribes to the city official in charge of awarding and overseeing the contract.

Studies have also shown the cameras have mixed impact on safety.  They reduce broadside, or T-bone accidents at some intersections, but cause more rear end crashes from drivers stopping suddenly to avoid tickets.

Some yellow lights at camera intersections were found to be shorter than required, resulting in thousands of tickets that would not otherwise have been generated.

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5 comments

  • fghgf

    Here’s an idea of how he can start replacing that $70 million. Fine these stupid and self-privileged pedestrians who refuse to walk on the sidewalks and prefer to walk in busy streets. Doesn’t matter how busy or dangerous the roads are, doesn’t matter if the sidewalks are clear, and it doesn’t even matter if they’re with children, pets, or are crippled; they’ll prefer to walk in the roads and Chicago will continue to wonder why 3,000 pedestrians get hit every year. Hit these pedestrians who walk in the roads with some good fines. Considering with how so many people here don’t use sidewalks, it will replace a good chunk of the cash.

  • Diane

    What is Chuy going to do about the more important things that need to be taken care of? Is he going to protect the City employees Pension Fund that is in so much trouble and the fact that Mayor Emanuel REFUSES to obey a court order to put in $600 million dollars into the Pension Fund.

  • Jason Holowka

    The problem is not with the red light cameras, it is the people who don’t know how the cameras work and slam on their brakes at everything. I have been behind people stopping at the intersection on a GREEN light because they were “scared” of getting a ticket. Everyone is scared to go through a yellow light when in fact that is perfectly legal. It is only when the light turns red AND your front tire is behind the white line that you will get the ticket/be unable to get the decision reversed. Anything else is grounds for dismissal. All this is to me is him saying something people want to hear to try and get on their good side.