Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s new speed cameras will begin issuing their first warning tickets to Chicago motorists this month near four city parks, with at least eight more locations set to go operational in September, the mayor’s office announced today.
Motorists recorded going at least six miles per hour over the posted speed limits will get only warning citations for the first 30 days, then $35 tickets will be mailed. Motorists clocked at more than 10 miles per hour over the limit will be tagged for $100 fines.
Gabe Klein, the mayor’s transportation commissioner, called the city’s effort to give motorists a 30-day grace period “robust.”
“In addition to one free warning the first time a motorist is eligible to receive an actual violation, we expect to reduce the amount of speeding substantially, even beyond what other cities that use automated enforcement have experienced,” Klein said in the written statement.
The first four camera systems to be installed next week will be centered on parks, not schools, including Garfield Park on the West side, Gompers Park on the Northwest side, Washington Park on the South Side and Marquette Park on the Southwest side. Klein said the city expects to select a total of 50 locations for speed cameras this year.
Emanuel had hoped to have the lucrative speed camera program up and running early this year, but the rollout was delayed after City Hall came under scrutiny following Tribune reports of an alleged bribery scandal involving its 10-year-old red-light camera program.
The scandal prompted the mayor to fire the city’s longtime red-light camera operator, Redflex Traffic Systems. Inc. which at the time had been considered the frontrunner to take over his speed camera initiative. Redflex has been granted extensions on its contract to operate the red-light camera program at least through the end of the year while the city selects a new vendor.
Emanuel had predicted as much as $30 million in revenue from speed cameras in the first year, but was forced to pare that projection after the delays. Even so, the camera program promises to be a cash cow. Two locations that were part of pilot test of the speed cameras in December generated nearly 52,000 potential speeding violations, and found that one in 10 cars would have been ticketed.
Eight other locations will get the speed cameras next month, city officials said.
Of the first 12 speed cameras the city will install, nine will be centered on parks and the other three on schools. Those locations are:
Abbott Park, 49 E. 95th St.
Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, 3857 W. 111th St.
Curie High School, 4959 S. Archer Ave.
Douglas Park, 1401 S. Sacramento Ave.
Garfield Park, 100 N. Central Park Ave.
Gompers Park, 4222 W. Foster Ave.
Humboldt Park, 1440 N. Humboldt Dr.
Jones High School, 606 S. State St.
Legion Park, 3100 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
Marquette Park, 6743 S. Kedzie Ave.
Washington Park, 5531 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.
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