Chicago expands red light ticketing program

As some of you may already be painfully aware, traffic surveillance cameras have been popping up around Chicago at intersections in recent years. Getting caught running a red light on one of these cameras will cost you a hefty $100 ticket in the mail. Already, the City has installed 248 cameras at 123 accident-prone intersections and it looks like there are many more to come.

The 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has given the City of Chicago the go-ahead to continue installing red light camera at intersections throughout Chicago. Rejecting the so-called “innocent owner’s defense”, the ruling states:

“Is it rational to fine the owner, rather than the driver? Certainly so. A camera can show reliably which cars and trucks go through red lights, but is less likely to show who was driving. That would make it easy for owners to point the finger at friends or children- and essentially impossible for the city to prove otherwise”

The City will now move ahead with a major expansion program, installing cameras at more than 330 intersections by 2012. Thus far, these cameras have raised $94.5 million in revenue for the city. However, City Hall insists that it’s more about safety than money, claiming a 59 percent drop in red-light running since installing the cameras in 2003. What do you think? Is this a fare form of traffic enforcement, or is Big Brother going too far?

3 Responses to “Chicago expands red light ticketing program”

  1. MM Says:

    I don’t have a problem with it – it’s not Big Brother because the driving laws are already in place and this is a way to enforce those laws. This is a safety issue; not all cameras are “spy” cameras. I think it will result in people being much more careful in driving. Think about it this way – if they added to the number of police out there looking for traffic violations (as impractical as it sounds), would you think of it as “Big Brother?” Big Brother is when they create new laws that allow people to tap your phones. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’m noticing a lot more careless drivers these days, especially ones that don’t stop at 4-way stop signs and those who speed/weave through traffic on Lake Shore Drive.
    I-Go will have to come up with a way to pass the fine onto offending drivers based on the time stamp on the camera, and that’s going to cost you extra money… Perhaps that’s what you object to?

  2. Anonymous Says:

    The judge doesn’t even speak English clearly. Does the judge think clearly? I have heard that a ticket is given if your car does not make it through the intersection before the light turns from yellow to red.

  3. Hugh Says:

    Actually, MM, if you get caught by a camera while driving an I-GO vehicle, I-GO pays the ticket and charges the cost plus a $10 processing fee to your account. I don’t think Clare was trying to foster any conspiracy theories – just making conversation.

    Thanks for reading and drive safely out there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: