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Nearly five children are hit by people driving every day in Illinois while walking or biking within one block of a school.

Red light camera contracts should always focus on safety

The Illinois Public Interest Research Group (IPIRG) recently published a study on automated traffic enforcement systems (red light and speed cameras), and they found some interesting results.

I/llinois local governments have at least 84 current contracts for red light camera enforcement, all in the Chicago metropolitan area.

This unequivocally makes the Chicago metro region ground zero for automated traffic enforcement (California and Florida have higher statewide totals but spread among more metro areas).

IPIRG found a wide variety of contractual terms in the hundreds of deals analyzed. Some of the contracts encouraged traffic safety while others were skewed towards revenue generation. Unfortunately, the report didn’t provide a detailed analysis of each contract.

The Active Transportation Alliance supports automated red light enforcement programs because they target dangerous locations – intersections. The majority of bike/ped crashes occur at intersections.

The second most common type of crash at an intersection involves a bicyclist/pedestrian (most common is right-angle collisions).

We understand that there are questions about how automated traffic enforcement contracts are negotiated. Our position is that the first priority of every contract should be to maximize traffic safety benefits.