Chicago experiences roughly 3,000 crashes annually between motor vehicles and pedestrians, about 800 of which involve children.
The Children’s Safety Zone Program protects children and other pedestrians by reminding motorists to slow down and obey speed laws – especially in school and park zones. Safety zones are designated as a 1/8th of a mile boundary around any Chicago parks or schools.
The program uses enhanced signage and automated safety cameras to identify and ticket motorists who are breaking the law by exceeding the speed limits. The registered owner of the speeding vehicle will be issued the speeding ticket.
The automated speed enforcement cameras are only one part of the “toolbox” the City will use to enhance safety for our children and all residents in safety zones, including:
The City ordinance establishing the Children’s Safety Zone program substantially narrows the hours and locations of automated speed enforcement that are allowed under state law, and provides for the following:
7 a.m. to 4 p.m.: 20 miles per hour (mph) speed limit when children are present; and the posted speed limit when no children are present
7 a.m. to 7 p.m.: The posted speed limit
Further, the City is capping the locations where speed cameras can be installed to 20% of the 1,500 safety zone locations allowed by state law (approximately 300).
Camera locations are chosen based on available data regarding traffic, speeding, and crashes. The City has established six geographical regions wherein no fewer than 10% of speed enforcement safety zones will be located in each region. The first cameras were installed in August 2013, with the first violations being issued in September.
Revenue from the program will be used for programs that enhance the safety of children, including afterschool, anti-violence and jobs programs; crossing guards and police officers around schools; and infrastructure improvements, such as signs, crosswalk markings and other traffic safety improvements.
A pedestrian hit by a car traveling 20 mph – the speed in a school zone – has a 95% chance of living. That same person hit by a car traveling more than 40 mph has an 80% chance of dying.
Speed is one of the biggest determinants in whether an accident results in a serious injury or fatality, and reducing speeds to the posted limits will save lives. The Children’s Safety Zone Program protects children and other pedestrians by reminding motorists to slow down and obey speed laws – especially in school and park zones.