City to Remove Red Light Cams from 18 Intersections

"Automated traffic enforcement, whether through red light or speed cameras, is about changing drivers’ behavior," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Red Light Camera [genericsla]
Scott Weber

Red light cameras at 18 Chicago intersections will be removed from operations because of a low "crash rate," officials announced.

The intersections where the 36 cameras currently exist had no right-angle crashes or only one right-angle crash and a "total crash rate" of less than one percent. The "total crash rate" is calculated from Illinois Transportation Department data by dividing the total number of crashes in a year by the average daily traffic counts at the intersection, officials from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office explained.

The 18 intersections where red light cameras will be removed are:

  • Osceola and Touhy Avenues
  • Kedzie and Devon Avenues
  • Harlem and Higgins Avenues
  • Sheridan Road and Hollywood Avenue
  • Austin and Belmont Avenues
  • Cicero and Belmont Avenues
  • Halsted and Belmont Avenues
  • California and North Avenues
  • Wells and North Avenues
  • Kostner Avenue and Division Street
  • Clark Street and Cermak Road
  • California Avenue and 35th Street
  • California Avenue and 47th Street
  • Pulaski Road and 71st Street
  • Wentworth Avenue and 65th Street
  • Racine Avenue and 79th Street
  • 79th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue
  • Stony Island Avenue and 89th Street

In a response to an inquiry by Chicago's inspector general, city officials said they check red light camera effectiveness "every year to year and a half." Ten cameras from five intersections have previously been relocated.

Inspector General Joe Ferguson back in May argued the city couldn't substantiate claims that red light cameras were placed at "intersections with the highest angle crash rates." His audit did not specifically list those questionable intersections. City officials responded by saying that cameras were placed at intersections based on the latest available state crash data.

With the removal of these latest cameras, the city will have 348 red light cameras monitoring 172 intersections. 

The red light camera program brought in more than $60 million for the city last year.

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