Chicago speed camera enforcement begins today on NW Side

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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.

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  • TMot

    Normally I never side with the Establishment…This one is a necessary… I know the powers that be could give a Rats Ass about the public safety it's all about money with them… Overall if it makes people drive like they have an OUNCE of sense then it's worth it…80% of the people behind the wheel of a vehicle should really be in the seat behind the Bus Driver…

  • chris liebelt

    This is not about safety this is about revenue. When the mayor on his 1st week set up a website asking for suggestions on revenue building for Chicago, i bet not one Chicagoan suggested a speed camera!
    I have a sneaking suspicion that parks have been chosen as there is a longer stretch of road, and a longer stretch of road means cars can reach a faster speed.
    Here is a good example, there is a new camera on Irving park rd between California and Western, but instead of being on the side of the street where there is a park it is on the opposite side of the road with a concrete divide between the east/west lanes. No child from the park could never be harmed on this side of the street, why wouldnt they put the camera on the same side of the park? The answer is because of the stop light at California, which means their are not as many people speeding.
    In other countries the speed cameras are painted a luminous yellow, this in it self slows traffic down as it is a prevention to all.
    Canada gave up with cameras as people kept burning them down, i wonder if thats why ours are so high?