Red light cameras: Safer streets or ploy for money?

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Jesus “Chuy” Garcia speaking out against red light cameras at a new conference in December. Photo Courtesy: Michael Tercha

 

Chicago Mayor challenger Jesus “Chuy” Garcia promises to take down red light traffic cameras if elected. He didn’t mention how the city would make up for the lack of ticket-generated revenue.

According to Garcia, it’s a matter of safety. He recently called from a pause in the program to investigate whether or not the cameras are even improving safety in the city.

In his proposal, Garcia referenced a study done by commissioned by the Chicago Tribune, Texas A&M researchers that concluded the cameras do not provide all of the safety benefits claimed by City Hall. The numbers and statistics rehearsed by Mayor Emmanuel and City Hall have not matched any of the statistics reported in the study.

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Chicago has the largest traffic camera program in the country and was found to increase some types of injuries in accidents but also decrease others.

The study determined that rear-ending accidents have increased 22 percent as a result of the installment of the red light cameras in Chicago.

Many Chicago residents want the cameras to be taken down, as they are seen not to be making streets safer, but as a way to make money. Over 500 million dollars have been made from the red light camera program since 2002.

Garcia called the program initiated by Mayor Emmanuel “a rip off” effort.

Follow more in the original story published by the Chicago Tribune

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