Keep up with essential planning news and commentary, delivered to your inbox every Monday and Thursday.
Chicago Speed Cameras: Mayoral Money Grab or Sign of a Speeding Epidemic?
For John Greenfield, by speculating on the financial motivation for installing the cameras, reporters and elected leaders are ignoring the severity of the safety problem the speeding data reveals.
"You would think that the [Chicago] Tribune would respond to the [data on the volume of warnings] with a story about how these numbers indicate that Chicago has a reckless driving epidemic," observes Greenfield. "Perhaps the paper would acknowledge that the cameras represent an appropriate enforcement measure. Instead, the Trib clung to its hypothesis that this safety initiative is merely a money grab by the mayor, with the headline 'Emanuel speed cameras may bring in more revenue than expected.'”
"The Trib piece fails to mention that any revenue generated by the speed cameras would be earmarked for traffic safety and violence prevention efforts such as crossing guards and police officers around schools, infrastructure like crosswalks and warning signs, plus after-school, anti-violence and job-training programs," he adds.