Safer streets in Chicago one step closer with passage of speed camera legislation

Legislation allowing the use of automatic speed enforcement cameras in Chicago (and only in Chicago) passed yesterday in Springfield.

Active Trans strongly supports this legislation because studies show that speed cameras significantly reduce the number of cars exceeding speed limits, and that makes walking and cycling easier and safer.

The research is also clear that speed cameras significantly reduce crashes, injuries and deaths of all types (not just pedestrian). Check out my blog post featuring a letter to the editor of the Tribune for more facts about speed cameras.

Some critics are not convinced that speed cameras work. Of course, critics said red light cameras wouldn’t work in Chicago either, but they were wrong. Fatalities at intersections with red light cameras have decreased roughly 60 percent.

Active Trans is asking the city to choose camera locations with safety in mind, not revenue generation. The eventual goal should be no tickets and no revenue because drivers are no longer speeding. In the meantime, revenues should be used to make infrastructure improvements that slow cars down (like narrowing lanes) and make walking and biking safer, like sidewalk bump-outs, crosswalk markings and protected bike lanes.

Revenues should also be used to educate people how to drive, walk and bike safely and respectfully.

Thanks to everyone who contacted their state legislators in support of this legislation! We’ll be contacting the governor to ask for his signature.

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