Contrary to its claims, the City of Chicago’s red light cameras are not based on safety, according to an Inspector General (IG) audit of the program that brought in more than $71 million in revenue for the city last year.
released on May 14, sought to determine if the city’s 384 red light cameras were installed based on the Chicago Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) “stated primary criterion of reducing angle crashes to increase safety.”
The IG found no evidence to support the city’s rationale for the program, which is to “increase safety on Chicago streets.”
“CDOT was unable to substantiate its claims that the City chose to install red light cameras at intersections with the highest angle crash rates in order to increase safety,” the IG said. “Neither do we know, from the information provided by CDOT, why cameras in locations with no recent angle crashes have not been relocated, nor what the City’s rationale is for the continued operation of any individual camera at any individual location.”
The IG also found it “troubling” that the CDOT could not provide any documentation as to how they chose intersections to place red light cameras and why cameras remain at intersections that have reported no accidents.
“If the intent of the [Red Light Camera] RLC program is to increase safety and reduce the number of dangerous angle crashes, it is troubling that CDOT cannot produce documentation or an analysis demonstrating how each camera location was chosen, including all of those currently in operation, was chosen,” the audit said.
The program issued 612,278 tickets in 2012, and generated revenue totaling $71,943,053.00.