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At four Chicago neighborhood parks where Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) cameras have been installed, the number of recorded speeding events has dropped by nearly two-thirds from the first week of warnings to the third week of ticketing, the Chicago Department of Transportation said today.
“It is encouraging to see that automated speed enforcement has already had a significant positive impact of drivers’ behavior by reducing the level of speeding,” said CDOT Commissioner Gabe Klein. “But we still have a chronic problem of excessive speed, and we need to continue to change the culture of speeding in Chicago in order to increase the safety around our parks and schools.”
In the first week of warning notices, the nine cameras near Gompers, McKinley, Garfield, and Marquette Parks each captured a daily average of 507 vehicles speeding 10 mph or more over the speed limit.
By the third week of issuing tickets, the daily average of speeding dropped to 175, a reduction of more than 65 percent.
From the first week of tickets to the third week of tickets, the number of speeders had dropped by 17 percent from a daily average of 211 violations to 175. Ninety percent of the speeders have not been issued a second ticket since citations began being issued on October 16th.
For the first 30 days after cameras are activated in a safety zone, only warnings will be issued for speeding violations. Tickets start to be issued two weeks after the warning period ends, to ensure that any speeding motorists receive their warnings before being ticketed.
In addition, the first time a vehicle owner is eligible to receive an enforceable violation, they will instead receive a final warning. Fines for violations are $35 for vehicles traveling 6-10 miles per hour over the posted speed limit while in a safety zone, and $100 for vehicles traveling 11 or more miles over the posted speed limit.
Through the ASE cameras, the City has issued nearly 300,000 30-day warnings, 24,000 final warnings and more than 2,700 tickets to date.
Cameras installed at Douglas, Legion, Washington Parks will have begun issuing tickets this week. Cameras installed at Abbott, Humboldt, Major Taylor, Portage, Columbus and Warren parks are currently in the warning-issuing phase.
The Children’s Safety Zones are designated as within 1/8th of a mile from Chicago parks or schools. The speed cameras are only one part of the “toolbox” of pedestrian enhancements and vehicle-speed-reduction measures that the City uses in safety zones.
Any revenue generated by the ASE program is to be invested in safety initiatives including after-school, anti-violence and jobs programs; crossing guards and police officers around schools; and infrastructure improvements, such as additional signs, crosswalk markings and other traffic safety improvements.
The City ordinance establishing the Children’s Safety Zone program substantially narrows the hours and locations of enforcement that are allowed under state law, and provides for the following:
The enforcement hours will be limited from 7 am to 7 pm in safety zones around schools on school days (Monday through Friday) from 7 am to 4 pm: 20 mph speed limit when children are present; 30 mph speed limit when no children are present; from 4 pm to 7 pm: 30 mph speed limit
The enforcement hours around parks will be limited to only those hours parks are open (typically 6am to 11pm, 7 days a week) with a 30 mph speed limit.
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