Thursday, October 09, 2014

Chicago red light camera problems continue--now it's short yellow lights

Chicago's Northwest Side
Chicago, which Carl Sandburg once dubbed "the city of big shoulders" is now the city that picks your pockets.

Fortunately there a few decent people left in the nation's third largest city--in this case some judges.

From the Chicago Tribune:
A Tribune examination of overturned red light tickets revealed evidence that the city of Chicago has quietly cast a wider net to snare drivers since switching camera vendors earlier this year amid a bribery scandal.

A before-and-after analysis of photographic evidence and interviews with experts suggests the transition to a new vendor last spring was accompanied by a subtle but significant lowering of the threshold for yellow light times.

City hearing officers have noticed the trend and are increasingly tossing tickets because the yellow light time stamped on the citation is less than the 3-second minimum required by the city, the Tribune analysis showed.

Xerox State & Local Solutions took over the program in March. Since April, hearing officers have cited short yellow lights as the reason for throwing out more than 200 of roughly 1,500 rejected red light tickets, according to their written notations. In the four years before that, under the old vendor, judges blamed short yellows only 37 times out of more than 12,000 successful appeals, according to their written notes.
That rate is 50 times greater than when Redflex, the company involved in the ongoing bribery scandal, was in charge.

Red light cameras cause accidents. Drivers either speed up to avoid getting caught or they slam on the brakes to avoid getting caught.

Bad idea.

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