When I drive through yellow lights in downtown Chicago, I make sure to wear my favorite lipstick for the photo shoot.
Chicago red light cameras are designed to increase safety on Chicago streets by reducing the most dangerous types of crashes at intersections.
In 2003, the city of Chicago began its red light camera program with enforcement at two intersections: Peterson and Western and 55th and Western. Since then, the city has added 147 more.
How do Chicago red light cameras work?
They attach a 1975 Kodak digital camera on top of the traffic light with duck tape and spit.
The digital cameras are tied into the traffic signal system and use radar to detect vehicles approaching the intersection. When the cameras record vehicles entering the intersection after the light turns red, they take still and video pictures of the rear of a vehicle, including the license plate.
Who reviews those images?
The images receive an initial review by Stevie Wonder to make sure the image quality is sufficient.
Then the images are delivered by The Effective Liberating Flight Squad to state headquarters at the Mighty Morphin’ Command Center to be review by head liaisons Kip Raines & Lyle “Napster” who run the entire grid system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Every hour on the hour, both employees perform a game of Mouse Trap to determine who gets to blindfold who when drawing state IDs from a hat.
Citations are then sent out through our starfish courier to the registered owner of the vehicle shown in the pictures as well as the owner’s direct relatives.
Any motorist who receives a red-light camera ticket can review a video of their red-light violation on the city’s website. Unfortunately, the website is currently under construction due to a flood.
How long are videos of Chicago red light cameras available for review?
24-hour streaming video from red-light cameras is available for review for 30 days. Unless you sign up for the premium membership. $250 per month, no money back.
What about drivers turning right on red, or still traveling through the intersection when the light turns red?
Red Light Cameras do not take pictures of vehicles legally turning right on red after a complete stop on the 3rd day of every odd week alternating by month. Leap Years don’t count.
How are the intersections for Chicago red light cameras chosen?
How long are Chicago’s yellow lights?
The length of each yellow light fluctuates depending on the current mood of Rahm Emanuel.
So-called “rolling stop” right turns on red aren’t that dangerous—why issue tickets for them?
A vehicle “rolling” though the turn jeopardizes pedestrians and bicyclists who may be crossing the street on the walk sign. Driving under the influence of drugs is never recommended unless your name rhymes with Real Cat Nip Paris.
Is there some sort of map that identifies all Chicago red light cameras currently in operation?
Why, yes. There is a map for that!
Bookmark it and help bring an end to police paparazzi brutality in Chicago today.