Many tickets issued by speed cameras in area


by BRIAN NADIG

A recently installed speed camera on Peterson Avenue near Sauganash School is not expected to be fully operational until next month, while two speed cameras in Mayfair have generated about 20,000 traffic tickets in two months.

The camera near the school is on Peterson between Keating Avenue and Kilpatrick Avenue, according to Manuel Galvan, a spokesman for Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th). Testing has found a high volume of speeding motorists on Peterson, and it is hoped that the cameras will slow traffic, especially when students are walking in the area, Galvan said.

The speed limit in the area normally is 30 miles per hour, but it is 20 miles per hour between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on school days when school children are present. For a motorist to receive a ticket for breaking the school speed limit, the speed camera must capture an image of a child walking nearby at the time of the violation, Galvan said.

Enforcement hours for speed cameras near schools are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, while the hours for most cameras near parks are 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. Warnings are issued during the first 30 days at each speed camera location in the city, and after that period, drivers receive a warning for their first offense.

Fines are $35 for traveling between 6 and 10 miles per hour over the speed limit and $100 for driving 11 or more miles per hour over the limit. The citations are not considered moving violations that are reported to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office.

"Because of the large volume of speeders across Chicago, the city is starting the enforcement by only issuing tickets for speeders going 10 or more miles over the posted speed limit," Chicago Department of Transportation spokesman Peter Scales said. "That ticket threshold will gradually be lowered going forward."

The first two cameras in the 39th Ward were installed in August near Gompers Park, 4222 W. Foster Ave. From Oct. 16 to Dec. 15, about 11,000 tickets have been issued from the camera on Foster Avenue and about 9,000 for the camera on Pulaski Road, Galvan said.

The transportation department reports that the cameras are having a positive effect on driving habits. In the first week of warning notices, the nine cameras near Gompers Park, McKinley Park, Garfield Park and Marquette Park each captured a daily average of 507 vehicles speeding 10 or more miles per hour over the speed limit, but by the third week of issuing tickets the daily average declined to 175, the department said.

Under the Children’s Safety Zone Program, about 50 speed cameras are being installed in 2013. The cameras must be located with one-eighth of a mile of a park or school, and signs must be posted warning drivers that they are entering a speed camera enforcement zone.


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