Ald. Bob Fioretti wants Chicago’s red light camera program shut down.
The mayoral candidate, who spoke out against the program at an event Monday morning with the public relations director for Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras, Don Bransford, said he hopes to eliminate the program.
“These cameras are brought to us by fraud, abuse and an ongoing federal investigation,” Fioretti said in a statement. “You can't balance the budget by giving away the public trust, and that's what the Emanuel administration has done with these cameras. The proof is right here in front of us that this system doesn't work and has been a burden on Chicagoans, and I will continue to work to lift it by eliminating this program.”
The call comes after a study commissioned by the Chicago Tribune revealed the system actually makes some intersections more dangerous.
In the only scientific study to date analyzing the nation’s largest network of 350 red light cameras, the Tribune found intersections with cameras snapping photos and ticketing drivers as they pass through red lights saw a 22 percent increase in rear-end crashes resulting in injuries.
“The Chicago Tribune and Texas A&M study confirms what The Citizens To Abolish Red Light Cameras has been saying for two years,” Mark Wallace, director of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras, said in a statement. “The city’s fraudulent red light camera and speed camera policy has nothing to do with safety at all. We don't have an epidemic of children being struck by cars; we have a problem with children being struck by guns and bullets.”
While Mayor Rahm Emanuel has claimed the cameras are to thank for a 47 percent decrease in “T-Bone” right-angle cras
The red light camera program has collected nearly $600 million for the city since 2003.
In a statement issued Monday, Emanuel claimed Fioretti’s statements contradicted his voting actions.
“Alderman Fioretti is against the red light camera program, but voted for its expansion in the 2009 City budget," said Emanuel. "The alderman doesn’t support the $13 minimum wage, but voted for the increase. He is opposed the use of TIFs to benefit large corporations, but pushed for $15 million in TIF dollars for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Alderman Fioretti does not have a problem with the Mayor—he has a problem with his own record."