City to changes some red light camera placement, policy

CHICAGO -- The city of Chicago is making changes to its red light camera program.

The move comes after a new report from Northwestern University’s Transportation Center.

The city commissioned an independent study to assess its controversial red light camera program.

The transportation center combed over crash data for about a year and a half and determined the program is providing safety benefits. But it also found that some changes could improve its effectiveness.

They determined the cameras located at six intersections weren’t as effective.

The city now plans to remove those cameras and re-locate them to these five new intersections where camera enforcement should be more effective.

The city has also implemented the reports recommendation to give drivers more leeway. Before, the city hit drivers with a $100 ticket for going through an intersection a tenth of a second after the light turned red. Now that will be extended to 3/10ths of a second.

Overall, the study determined that the red light camera program is helping reduce serious crashes by 19 percent and having a positive spillover effect.

Northwestern created a tool for the city so it can continuously assess each cameras effectiveness and determine if there are better locations that would benefit from the red light enforcement.

The city says it plans to use that tool moving forward along with increasing the programs transparency and accountability.