Recently, Chicago has been known for having the nation’s largest red light camera system lining its streets, a fact that has been lamented by many who drive around the city or who use taxi cabs for transit. With the increased presence of red light cameras have come some dangerous driving activities like motorists who slam on their brakes to avoid the potential for a ticket; while slamming the brakes might sound like a safe move, in many cases, it can cause a driver behind the first vehicle to rear-end that car, causing a collision that results in monetary damages to all involved and may even cause physical injuries to some victims.
Publicly, some high-ranking city officials have claimed that the inclusion of red light cameras at area intersections has been to hold drivers responsible for their actions. The theory is that if a camera is present and captures a motorist running a red light, that motorist can be punished and hopefully the punishment will prevent that driver and others from engaging in the activity in the future. However, with the shortening of yellow lights at many camera intersections and with Chicago’s heavy traffic congestion, collisions caused in part by the presence of these cameras continue to occur.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has taken action in response to some negative views on these cameras by having some removed from intersections with few to no collisions in the prior year. Last week, the city announced that an additional 50 cameras would be removed from 25 intersections in the coming months and until they could be removed, they would be deactivated to prevent motorists from receiving automated red light tickets. When these cameras are removed, Chicago will have 302 cameras across the city at 149 different intersections. Though these numbers are still high when compared to other cities, they represent a 20 percent reduction in the number of cameras when compared to the height of camera use by local police in Chicago.
In addition to the alterations to the current camera locations, the City of Chicago is also taking steps to warn motorists of impending light changes by installing additional light “countdowns” – devices that literally warn a driver of the number of seconds until a light changes from green to yellow. The city claims that these countdown devices further will prevent potential rear-end collisions while simultaneously warning motorists of their requirement to stop at a red. It is also believed that these devices will add legitimacy to any red light tickets that are issued as the drivers who run these red lights will receive additional warning of the light’s character before entering an intersection.
The data surrounding the red light cameras across the country is not clear as to the effectiveness of this type of safety device but in Chicago, it is clear that victims of car accidents where drivers ignore red lights are entitled to seek financial compensation for their losses. Money can be obtained to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering as well as any additional damages sustained by the victim due to a collision. If you have been injured, you may receive the clarity you need by talking with a personal injury lawyer.
In Chicago, the attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. believe in the rights of victims and if you have been hurt, we believe in you. We offer a free case consultaiton without any obligation on your part when you call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 and we have a lawyer standing by at all times of the day and night to take your call. If you prefer, you can also reach us at any time by calling us locally at (312) 924-7575.
When an accident changes your life, make sure your rights are protected. Call Abels & Annes, P.C. today.
Prior Blog Entry:
Alleged Drunk Driver Arrested after Falling Asleep behind the Wheel, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published March 5, 2015.
Rahm: Red-light cameras being pulled from 25 more intersections, by Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, published March 8, 2015.