Story Summary

Speed cameras installed across Chicago

The first four of Mayor Emanuel’s Child Safety speed cameras have been installed.

A motorist’s first violation will trigger a warning.  After that, speeding less than 10 miles over the limit will bring a $35 fine. More than 10 miles over the limit will rack up a $100 fine.

Fifty cameras are expected to be online by the end of the year.

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Mayor Emanuel says revenue from speed cameras will go toward children’s programs, but there’s nothing in the budget to guarantee that.

The mayor’s office expects the new cameras will bring in $70 million.

But that money is going into the city’s general fund, instead of a special fund for children.

That means city officials can spend the camera revenue on whatever they want.

But the city says it has $73 million budgeted toward after school programs, early childhood education, and school security.

More of Chicago’s speed cameras will start issuing tickets this week.

The cameras around Marquette Park will switch to “enforcement mode” Monday.

The same will happen at McKinley Park Tuesday and at Garfield Park on Friday.

Drivers caught going eleven miles-per-hour over the speed limit will get a warning for the first offense.

MORE: City identifies 50 locations for new speed cameras

But a second offense will mean a $100 fine.

Enforcement hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday in school safety zones and from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., everyday near parks.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Deputy Transportation Commissioner Scott Kubly said the city initially would not issue the lower-cost tickets to drivers going 6 to 10 mph over the limit, though the new law allows it.

Department spokesman Bill McCaffrey says the city’s goal is to have more than 100 cameras working by the end of the year.

Cameras at Gompers Park were switched to enforcement mode last Wednesday.
The cameras were running under a 45-day grace period before that.

Nine cameras near four parks issued 222,843 warning violations during that time.

That would have meant $13.3 million in fines, if the cameras were in enforcement mode.

Cameras installed at Douglas, Legion, Washington, Humboldt and Major Taylor parks and at Prosser High School are in their 30-day warning phase.

They will start issuing tickets after the grace period ends.

Chicago’s new speed cameras have begun issuing automatic tickets to drivers.

At 6 a.m., the speed cameras along Foster Avenue near Gompers Park on the Northwest Side started issuing tickets for drivers going 10 or more miles an hour over the posted speed limit.

Those fines start at $35.

The city plans to gradually lower the speeding threshold to just six miles over the speed limit.

City officials say it is all about safety.  Since the speed cameras were installed in August, the numbers coming out of them have been shocking.

“When we gave out warnings the first 30 days we had over 200 people doing 60 in 30 mile per hour zones,” Chicago Dept. of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein told reporters today. “We clocked one person going 90 miles an hour.”

“If you’re going about 25-30 miles per hour and you hit a pedestrian or a cyclist there’s a good chance that person is going to survive,” said Ron Burke of the Active Transportation Alliance.  “If you’re going about 40 or more there’s a very good chance that person will not survive — in fact, they’re not likely to.”

Right now there are nine safety zones across the city operating speed cameras but the safety zone at Gompers Park is the only one issuing tickets.  The other eight will start doing so over the coming weeks.

Commissioner Klein says the ultimate goal is to have 50 safety zones operating cameras by next August.

And he says the real goal is to have zero traffic fatalities in ten years.

Mayor Emanuel is removing red light cameras from 18 intersections.

The city says it will remove cameras from those intersections because they had a total crash rate of less than one percent.

“For the first time ever the city’s looked at it, given the new information, and made the decision to remove them,” Mayor Emanuel told reporters today.  “I am clear, though, as it relates to the speed cameras, we’re going to roll those out in our parks and in our schools to protect our children in the same way, to work as a deterrent for people that are speeding.”

The cameras won’t be removed until January of next year. The 18 intersections where red-light cameras will be 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

The city will also start issuing tickets of up to $100 for people caught by automated speed cameras in other locations after the 30-day warning period ended last week.

Be careful how fast you drive near Chicago’s schools and parks.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel unveiled a list Friday of 50 zones that will have speed cameras.

The first cameras are already installed and activated near Gompers Park.

Cameras at McKinley, Marquette and Garfield Parks will be activated next week.

The cameras will trigger warning tickets the first 30 days. After that, you could be fined up to $100.

The 50 locations for the speed cameras are:

  • Abbott Park, 49 E. 95th St.
  • Bogan Tech High School, 3939 W. 79th St.
  • Burr Elementary School, 1621 W. Wabansia Ave.
  • Challenger Park, 1100 W. Irving Park Rd.
  • Chicago Agricultural High School, 3807 W. 111th St.
  • Christopher Elementary School, 5042 S. Artesian Ave.
  • Columbus Park, 500 S. Central Ave.
  • Curie High School, 4959 S. Archer Ave.
  • Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Ave.
  • Frances Xavier Warde School, 751 N. State St.
  • Gage Park, 2415 W. 55th St.
  • Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Dr.
  • Gompers Park, 4222 W. Foster Ave.
  • Hancock Elementary School, 4034 W. 56th St.
  • Harvard Elementary School, 7525 S. Harvard Ave.
  • Horan Park, 3035 W. Van Buren St.
  • Horner Park, 2741 W. Montrose Ave.
  • Humboldt Park, 1400 N. Humboldt Dr.
  • Icci Academy, 6435 W. Belmont Ave.
  • Jefferson Park, 4822 N. Long Ave.
  • Jones High School, 606 S. State St.
  • Lane Tech High School, 2501 W. Addison St.
  • Legion Park, 3100 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
  • Lorca Elementary School, 3231 N. Springfield Ave.
  • Major Taylor Park, 970 W. 115th St.
  • Marquette Park, 6734 S. Kedzie Ave.
  • McGuane Park, 2901 S. Poplar Ave.
  • McKinley Park, 2210 W. Pershing Rd.
  • Merrimac Park, 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.
  • Morgan Park High School, 1744 W. Pryor Ave.
  • Ogden Park, 429 N. Columbus Dr.
  • Orr High School, 730 N. Pulaski Rd.
  • Park 499, 3925 E. 104th St.
  • Parsons Park, 4701 W. Belmont Ave.
  • Pickard Elementary School, 2301 W. 21St Pl.
  • Portage Park, 4100 N. Long Ave.
  • Prosser Vocational High School, 2148 N. Long Ave.
  • Riis Park, 6100 W. Fullerton Ave.
  • Roberto Clemente High School, 1147 N. Western Ave.
  • Rosenblum Park, 2000 E. 75th St.
  • Sauganash Elementary School, 6040 N. Kilpatrick Ave.
  • Schaefer Park, 2415 N. Marshfield Ave.
  • Senn Park, 5887 N. Ridge Ave.
  • Sherman Park, 1307 W. 52nd St.
  • St. Genevieve School, 4854 W. Montana St.
  • St. Rita High School, 7740 S. Western Ave.
  • Union Park, 1501 W. Randolph St.
  • Warren Elementary School, 9239 S. Jeffery Ave.
  • Washington Park, 5531 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
  • Welles Park, 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave.

The enforcement hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for speed cameras around school zones, and 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. around parks.

The first of the city’s speed limit cameras are ready for service.

Drivers speeding around Gompers Park on the North Side will get warnings during the first 30 days. After that, tickets will start being issued.

This is the first of the cameras, with 50 other communities getting them as well.

The speed limit cameras are part of the city’s Children’s Safety Zone Program, which involves enforcing speed limits around parks and schools from 7 a.m. til 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The city plans to put up more cameras at Garfield Park on the West Side, Washington Park on the South Side, and Marquette Park on the Southwest Side by the end of next week.

50 new speeding cameras are being installed and tested near schools and parks throughout Chicago and will go live in a few weeks.

The zones are designated as within 1/8th of a mile from Chicago parks or schools.

The first 12 locations have been determined.  They are:

  • Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave.
  • Gompers Park, 4222 W. Foster Ave.
  • Washington Park, 5531 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive
  • Marquette Park, 6743 S. Kedzie Ave.
  • Humboldt Park, 1440 N. Humboldt Dr.
  • Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento
  • Curie High School, 4959 S. Archer Ave.
  • McKinley Park, 2210 W. Pershing Rd.
  • Jones High School, 606 S. State St.
  • Legion Park, 3100 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
  • Abbott Park, 49 E. 95th St. Chicago
  • Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, 3857 W. 111th St.

A detailed list of the locations can be found here (pdf)

The Dept of Transportation claims the cameras that capture video and still pictures of violators should reduce speeds by 75-90%.

According to the DOT,  roughly 3,000 crashes happen in Chicago annually between motor vehicles and pedestrians.  About 800 of those involve children.  A pedestrian hit by a car traveling 20 mph – the speed in a school zone – has a 95 percent chance of living.  That same person hit by a car traveling more than 40 mph has an 80 percent chance of dying, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

Drivers will get a warning first, then a $35 ticket for a 2nd offense. Anyone going 11 miles over the limit is looking at a $100 ticket. And posted signs will put all drivers on notice.

Because of number of speeders, the city stands to make a lot of money. initially $30 million a year was projected. New numbers in a test pilot show it could be hundreds of millions of dollars.

Some driver question Mayor Emanuel motivations asking if it is a safety measure or a money grab for a city soon staring at a billion dollar deficit?

Fines can be appealed, but if you ignore them, you get reported to the Secretary of State’s Office and it gets deducted from your income taxes.

The first four of Mayor Emanuel’s Child Safety speed cameras are being installed today outside city parks.

In fact, WGN’s  Judy Wang found one on Foster Avenue along Gompers Park is already in place.

The other parks getting the first cameras are Garfield, Washington and Marquette.

The cameras will start issuing warning tickets by the end of the month.

Eight more will be installed in September.

A motorist’s first violation will trigger a warning.  After that, speeding less than 10 miles over the limit will bring a $35 fine.   More than 10 miles over the limit will rack up a 100 dollar fine.

Opponents call Emanuel’s safety angle a smoke screen to generate cash for the debt ridden city.

And a month long test run at four locations last December netted more than 93,000 violations.  That would have brought in more than four million dollars, well over Emanuel’s estimate of $30 million a year.

With 50 cameras expected to be online by year’s end, the city could be hauling in hundreds of millions of dollars.

The city’s department of transportation calls the 93,000 speeders figure overblown.

They say the four test sites were very high volume locations.  And after cameras are installed, driver’s habits change and the amount of speeding and fines decreases.

The city of Washington D.C. reported speeding fell 90 percent after word got out about its cameras.

chi-speed-camera-20130809The first speed cameras in Chicago will begin issuing warnings this week.
Four cameras have been installed near Garfield, Gompers, Washington, and Marquette parks.
Warnings will be issued to speeders for a grace period of 30 days.
After that, drivers will be given warnings for the first speeding offense then be ticketed for repeat violations.
The fine ranges between $35 and $100.

The city plans to install fifty speed cameras in schools zones and around parks by the end of this year

Four speed cameras will be installed in Chicago parks and start issuing tickets by the end of August, according to a statement from the Chicago Department of Transportation.

At least eight other locations for speed cameras have been chosen as well and are set to go operational in September.

The first camera systems to be installed will be near Garfield Park, Gompers Park, Washington Park and Marquette Park.

The exact locations of all 12 speed cameras are:

  • Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave.
  • Gompers Park, 4222 W. Foster Ave.
  • Washington Park, 5531 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Drivechi-first-speed-cameras-coming-to-four-city-parks-this-month-20130809
  • Marquette Park, 6743 S. Kedzie Ave.
  • Humboldt Park, 1440 N. Humboldt Dr.
  • Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento
  • Curie High School, 4959 S. Archer Ave.
  • McKinley Park, 2210 W. Pershing Rd.
  • Jones High School, 606 S. State St.
  • Legion Park, 3100 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
  • Abbott Park, 49 E. 95th St. Chicago
  • Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, 3857 W. 111th St.

The city expects to select 50 locations for camera installation in 2013, the statement said.

The enforcement hours for speed cameras near schools will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m., the speed limit it 20mph when children are present and 30 mph when no children are present. After 4 p.m., the speed limit is 30 mph.

The enforcement hours for speed cameras near parks will limited to only those hours parks are open — 30 mph between the hours of 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

The good news is that warnings will be issued for the first 30 days after a camera is installed in a newly-established in a safety zone, and the first time a driver is eligible to get a ticket, he or she will get a warning instead.

There’s a $35 fine for vehicles traveling 6-10 miles per hour over the speed limit, and a $100 fine for vehicles traveling 11 or more miles over the posted speed limit.

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

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