Always Read the Fine Print, Even on Stop Signs

Signs in suburbs not really "photo enforced"

If you're concerned about the "photo-enforced" stop signs in the northwest suburbs, you may want to slow down and read the fine print.

You see, at least two stop signs near O'Hare warn drivers—in large, bold letters—that they are "Photo Enforced." But what most drivers probably don't see is the tiny print above that, which says "Soon To Be."

Which means there are no actual cameras at either of the intersections.

"It does work," Lupo said to WBBM NewsRadio. "People have to slam on their brakes in the middle of the intersection, thinking that they were going to have their picture taken going through the stop sign."

According to the signs, there could be cameras there some day... just not right now.

In fact, cameras won't be present any time soon. It's currently illegal to put a camera on a stop sign in Illinois,  Lupo said.

So the 'soon' in "Soon To Be" is up for interpretation.

Lupo doesn't feel remotely guilty for potentially misleading drivers.

"Shame on [the naysayers] for not thinking that safety should always be the top issue," he told WBBM NewsRadio.

The concept isn't a new one. In many cases, the threat of punishment is enough. After all, how many times did your mom or dad say, "Behave back there, or I'll turn this car right around!"? And did she or he ever actually turn the car around?

A quick Internet search finds several opportunities for consumers to buy fake security cameras. Small mom-and-pop businesses will sometimes mount a camera in an obvious location for customers to heed. If it's operational, its live feed may even be on display. Whether the camera is actually recording anything is unknown, but the threat can be enough to keep potential criminals at bay.

Could this idea work throughout the City of Chicago? Instead of spending millions of dollars on new red-light cameras and blue-light surveillance cameras, we could save money and install counterfeits.

Of course, at least half—or even a third—of them would still have to contain real cameras. The threat has to have some enforcement if it's to remain credible.

But mix it up! Randomize the fake and real ones. Keep the traffic offenders on their toes.

In time, the threat of a camera will be enough to keep drivers in check, regardless if the camera itself is real.

Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.

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