Some red light cameras in Chicago are coming down—but they’re also going up in new areas after an independent study found they demonstrate “significant safety benefits,” the city announced Monday.
The study, conducted by the Northwestern University Transportation Center, suggested the city continue the program after after it highlighted benefits such as a 19 percent reduction in serious crashes and 10 percent reduction in injury-producing crashes at intersections where cameras were present. The city says, per the study’s recommendation, it will immediately extend the grace period in which drivers are not ticketed when passing through a light that has just turned read to 0.3 seconds—up from 0.1 seconds.
“We want to emphasize that extending this enforcement threshold is not an invitation to drivers to try to beat the red light,” said Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. “By accepting the recommendation of the academic team, we are giving the benefit of the doubt to well-intentioned drivers while remaining focused on the most reckless behaviors.”
The study also found six of the 151 total camera-equipped intersections did not “deliver the anticipated safety benefits.” Data showed the intersections registered a high number of violations but there was no corresponding reduction in crashes.
As a result, according to the city’s news release, the following cameras will be relocated:
• 95th Street and Stony Island Avenue (two cameras)
• Western Avenue and 71st Street (two cameras)
• Western Avenue and Pershing Road (two cameras)
• Grand Avenue and Oak Park Avenue (two cameras)
• Irving Park Road and Kedzie Avenue (two cameras)
• Peterson Avenue and Pulaski Road (two cameras)
The following are the intersections with proposed cameras for installation:
• Wacker Drive and Lake Street (two cameras)
• Michigan Avenue and Jackson Boulevard (two cameras)
• Dearborn Avenue and Grand Avenue (two cameras)
• Central Avenue, Foster Avenue, Northwest Highway and Milwaukee Avenue (two cameras)
• Pershing Road and Martin Luther King Drive (two cameras)
The city says it will begin to schedule public meetings to discuss all proposed camera removals and installations.