Did You Know?

Decades of research shows that expanding roads doesn’t provide lasting congestion relief. More lanes means more traffic.

Video captures excessive speeding in Chicago

Why does the Active Transportation Alliance support adding speed cameras to Chicago streets? As this video shows, Chicago has a culture where it’s okay to speed. Take a look:

The video, shot last week in Humboldt Park, observes a common occurrence all over Chicago: people driving cars, SUVs, and even a school bus, exceeding the speed limit and driving more than 40 miles per hour. Chicago’s speed limit, unless otherwise posted, is 30 miles per hour.

Our city’s culture of speeding says that it’s okay to cheat a little on speed limits. No biggie, right? Until you consider these statistics:

• A person hit by someone driving more than 40 miles per hour, as shown in the video, has a 10 percent survival rate.
• A person hit by someone driving 30 miles per hour has a 50 percent survival rate.
• A person hit by someone driving 20 miles per hour, has a 90 percent survival rate.

Chicago has a speeding problem, but most people don’t give it a second thought.

Studies show that cameras are effective, but so does common sense. As Ald. Richard Mell said last week:

“I ran a red light at Diversey and California. I have never [run] it again since I got the ticket. In areas around schools — some of our neighborhoods really desperately need something to slow people down. If the only way we can get their attention is in their pocket, then so be it.”

We agree. And we also think cameras in select areas will slow people down city-wide.

Cameras alone won’t change Chicago’s speeding problem, but they are one of many tools in the toolbox to slow down speeders, including speed bumps, portable speed signs, education and enforcement. We support a comprehensive approach. Changing bad habits can help save lives.

Please call your alderman and ask them to support speed cameras in targeted areas to help reduce speeding around the city.

For more information about our position and how to contact your Alderman, please click here.

PS: At Active Trans, we don’t like paying tickets just as much as everyone else. One good way to avoid this is to stop speeding.