The Governor signed a bill last Monday to retrofit and test Chicago red-light cameras with speed sensors at certain intersections.
Testing begin on De. 3 for the new speed cameras meant to prevent speeding in areas near Chicago parks and schools.
The systems will be in operation through January 3 and will be operating for the sole purpose of evaluating the equipment. No violations will be issued based on data from the cameras during the test period. However, motorists should always obey the posted speed limit.
A variety of factors determined the test locations, including location within a safety zone, frequency of speed related crashes, and ease of accessibility to power. The systems will be removed after the evaluation period.
City officials are still trying to decide which vendor to award the speed-camera contract as well as determine whether the cameras can affectively catch speeding drivers near parks and schools.
Until the decision is made, speed cameras, first touted by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, have been 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.
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.
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.