Chicago Begins Testing Speed Cameras

Speed cameras installed in four locations to start

By Anthony Ponce
|  Monday, Dec 3, 2012  |  Updated 5:11 PM CDT
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Testing began Monday on speed cameras that could ultimately cover half of Chicago's streets. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

Testing began Monday on speed cameras that could ultimately cover half of Chicago's streets. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday defended his idea to retrofit red-light cameras with speed sensors, saying the cameras are meant to protect kids and deter speeders near schools and parks.
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Testing began Monday for new speed cameras meant to prevent speeding in areas near Chicago parks and schools. 

City officials were still trying to decide which vendor to award the speed-camera contract as well as determine whether the cameras can effectively catch speeding drivers near parks and schools.

Until the decision is made, speed cameras, first touted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, were installed at four locations: on the 2200 block of West Pershing Road near McKinley Park, on the 6500 block of North Western Avenue near Warren Park, on the 6300 block of South King Drive near Dulles Elementary School and on the 1400 block of West Division near North Montessori School.

"What I want to make sure is kids going to school, kids playing in parks are safe, and that people abide by the law and drive appropriately around our schools and our parks," Emanuel said at a Friday news conference.

When the city does choose a vendor, drivers should be prepared to slow down or pay up. Tickets start at $35 for 6 to 10 mph over the speed limit and will reach $100 for 10 mph or more.

The mayor said the process of finding a vendor will be done competitively so that the city gets the best price and product possible.

Speed cameras eventually could cover half of Chicago streets. Some have accused Mayor Rahm Emanuel of using the cameras to make money for the city but the mayor said they'll make areas around parks and schools safer for children.

Tickets won't be issued until the spring at the earliest.

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