City Identifies Next 12 Children's Safety Zones to be Equipped with Automated Speed Enforcement Cameras

July 3, 2014

Children’s Safety Zone Program is Reducing Speeding and Improving Safety

The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) today announced the next 12 Children’s Safety Zones around parks and schools, two zones in each of the six city regions, to be equipped with automated speed enforcement (ASE) cameras this year, part of the Children’s Safety Zone Program to increase safety, reduce speeding and fund critical safety programs.

The data from speed cameras currently operating shows that speeding is decreasing in those areas. The number of speeding events recorded by each camera has reduced by an average of 43 percent from the first week of its operation to last week, and as much as 99 percent in some locations. Data shows that 39 percent of all violations issued have gone to non-city residents.

“We are pleased with the dramatic impact the Children’s Safety Zone Program has made to reduce speeding and improve safety,” said CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. “The whole goal of this program is making it safer for children and families to walk to school or go to the park, and clearly we’re making real strides toward that goal.”

Cameras will be installed in each of the six geographic regions during the next few months. These include:

• North Region

     Taft High School, 6545 W. Hurlbut St.

     Ashmore Playlot Park, 4807 W. Gunnison St.

• South Region

     Beverly Park, 2460 W. 102nd St.

     Chicago Vocational High School, 2100 E. 87th St.

• East Region

     Loop Lab School, 318 W. Adams St.

     Wicker Park 1425 N. Damen Ave.

• West Region

     Keystone Park, 1655 N. Keystone Ave.

     Frazier International Magnet School, 4027 W. Grenshaw St.

• Southwest Region

     St. Gall Elementary School, 5515 S. Sawyer Ave.

     Foster Park, 1400 W. 84th St.

• Southeast Region

     Dulles Elementary School, 6311 S. Calumet Ave.

     Mulberry Park, 3150 S. Robinson Ct.

Any revenue generated by the program is invested in critical 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.

Only warnings are issued for the first 30 days after cameras are activated in a safety zone. The first time a vehicle owner is eligible to receive an enforceable violation, they will instead receive a warning. Per city ordinance, 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.

The City is currently only issuing tickets for speeders going 10 or more miles per hour over the posted speed limit. That ticket threshold will gradually be lowered going forward. Since the program began in August of 2013, the City has issued more than 1.25 million warnings to motorists and 230,000 tickets in the 51 safety zones currently equipped with cameras.

The Children’s Safety Zones are designated within 1/8th of a mile from Chicago parks or schools. The City ordinance establishing the program narrows the hours and locations of enforcement that are allowed under state law, and provides for the following:

• The enforcement hours are limited from 7 am to 7 pm in safety zones around schools on school days (Monday through Friday)

     - 7 am to 4 pm: 20 mph speed limit when children are present; the posted speed limit when no children are present

     - 4 pm to 7 pm: the posted speed limit

• The enforcement hours around parks are limited to only those hours parks are open (typically 6am to 11pm, 7 days a week) to the posted speed limit.

With the additional 12, there will be cameras in 63 Children’s Safety Zones, which is well below the 300 allowed by City ordinance, and shows the City’s conservative approach on this program.

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