Wednesday, April 11 2012
Active Transportation Alliance
Active Transportation Alliance supports Chicago's proposal for speed cameras
Chicago City Council urged to support a strong version of the ordinance to promote safer streets for all
Chicago, IL -- As the Chicago City Council’s Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety considers an ordinance allowing speed cameras in Chicago, Active Transportation Alliance urges the city to move forward with speed camera enforcement, creating safer streets for everyone.
The ordinance, known as the Children’s Safety Zones ordinance, would allow the use of speed cameras near parks and schools in Chicago.
“Speeding cars and dangerous driving can be deadly,” said Ron Burke, executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance. “Crashes are a problem that affects everyone in all neighborhoods of this city. Better speed enforcement will make it safer for everyone on our streets, including people in cars, those who choose active transportation, and those who do not have a choice but to walk or bike.”
The Active Transportation Alliance supports provisions in the ordinance that require revenue from speed enforcement cameras be used to fund improvements that would make the streets safer, as well as awareness campaigns and after-school programs that focus on teaching kids about traffic safety.
On average, more than 60 people were killed or injured each day in motor vehicle crashes throughout Chicago in 2010, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Speed almost always plays a factor in the severity of a traffic crash. A person hit by car moving at 20 mph has a 5 percent chance of dying, but a person hit by a car at 40 mph has a 90 percent chance of death.
An analysis of more than 90 studies assessing speed enforcement cameras found an average injury crash reduction of 20 to 25 percent, with more effective programs reducing injuries from crashes by more than 50 percent.
The state law that enables automated speed enforcement in Chicago -- recently signed by Governor Quinn -- substantially limits when and where the cameras can be used. To create the safest streets for residents, Active Trans recommends extending the hours of enforcement to the maximum allowed by state law.
“Chicago needs to do all it can to reduce speeding and improve safety on our streets,” said Burke. “Automated speed enforcement will slow down cars, which saves lives and makes our neighborhoods more walkable and bike-friendly.”
Given that police have limited resources for traffic enforcement, Burke said speed cameras will provide a needed increase in enforcement without compromising other programs. Burke noted that people can easily avoid tickets by simply following the law and not speeding.
The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit so safe, convenient and fun that we will achieve a significant shift from environmentally harmful, sedentary travel to clean, active travel. The organization builds a movement around active transportation, encourages physical activity, increases safety and builds a world-class transportation network. The Active Transportation Alliance is North America’s largest transportation advocacy organization, supported by nearly 7,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 40 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312-427-3325.