City Reminds Chicagoans to Drive Safely This Holiday Season

December 12, 2014

CDOT releases video of crashes caused by running red lights; prepares to conduct year-end review of IDOT crash data at red light camera locations to further reduce crashes and increase safety

As the year comes to a close, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) reminds everyone to drive safely, obey traffic signals and adhere to posted speed limits. To illustrate the danger of disobeying traffic laws, CDOT today released video from automated enforcement cameras of crashes that resulted from drivers running red lights this year. The video can be viewed above.

“Chicagoans can stay safe this holiday season by driving safely, sober, without distractions and obeying the rules of the road,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. “These videos show the real danger of running red lights. Automated red light enforcement cameras are an important tool in our effort to prevent serious injuries, save lives and help Chicago’s families avoid the emotional and financial burdens caused by vehicle crashes.”

There are nearly 80,000 crashes in Chicago each year, 15,000 of which result in injuries, which is more than 40 crashes with injuries each day. About 3,000 crashes involve pedestrians. On average, 125 Chicagoans are killed each year in vehicle crashes across the city.

Chicago’s red light camera program, which has been operational since 2003, works to encourage drivers to obey red light signals to increase public safety. From 2005 to 2012 at the 174 intersections that currently have cameras, the number of crashes resulting in an injury or fatality was 22 percent lower, and crashes involving pedestrians were 23 percent lower, according to data provided by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).

Last year, CDOT conducted a review of the performance of red light cameras after the annual release of IDOT data, and for the first time in the program, removed 32 cameras from operation at 16 intersections which had seen a significant reduction in serious crashes.

As 2013 IDOT crash data – the most recent data available – is released, CDOT will again conduct a year-end review of red light camera performance to evaluate the program and consider removing or relocating cameras to where they would be more effective in increasing safety and decreasing the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities.

The City’s automated enforcement programs are only one part of the “toolbox” CDOT uses to enhance traffic safety for all Chicagoans, including:

• Pedestrian refuge islands in crosswalks

• Safety zone signage and street stencils

• High-visibility crosswalk markings

• Speed feedback signs

• Speed humps

• Traffic signal improvements

• Curb and ramp improvements

• Pedestrian countdown timers

• Lead pedestrian intervals

• In-street “Stop for Pedestrians” signs

• Bike and Pedestrian Safety Ambassadors

• Targeted enforcement events with Chicago Police

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