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Issue Date: Vol. 53, No. 6, June 2013, Posted On: 5/23/2013

Chicago Finds Mismanagement Of Red Light Cameras

Hank Schlesinger
TAGS: vending route, fleet management, fleet news, Inspector General Chicago, Chicago red light camera audit, vending operators, Joseph Ferguson

CHICAGO -- An audit by the Inspector General's office in Chicago has verified that red light cameras are installed with an eye more toward revenue and than safety. Long the scourge of operators and route drivers, the report is withering in its assessment of the largest red light camera network in the nation. While the report covers only Chicago, many have seen its criticism as applicable to municipal red light camera networks across the country.

In an open letter to Chicago's mayor, clerk, treasurer, council and residents, Inspector General Joseph Ferguson wrote: "CDOT was unable to substantiate its claims that the city chose to install red-light cameras at intersections with the highest angle crash rates in order to increase safety. Neither do we know, from the information provided by CDOT, why cameras in locations with no recent angle crashes have not been relocated, nor what the city's rationale is for the continued operation of any individual camera at any individual location."

The IG's report also took the city to task for a lack of recordkeeping and analysis for the program that costs tens of millions of dollars a year and generates tens of millions more in revenue. According Ferguson, Chicago's Department of Transportation was unable to provide data on why cameras in locations with no recent accidents have not been relocated.

The controversial report was initiated at the request of six members of Chicago's City Council seeking to verify that camera placement was based on reducing accidents.

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