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I've noticed that our friends at the ATA have become quite vocal in support of red light cameras.  I wonder if camera-love is widespread among their membership base (in which I'm included).  I always ride when I'm not working, but I have to drive on the clock, and I've been nailed twice.  Kinda rubs me the wrong way, especially because Chicago seems to have the shortest yellows I've ever seen.  Opinions?  
 

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Maybe you are driving too slow when trying to run a yellow:))?

I've only seen it flash when someone is blatantly going through a red.
No, I gun it every time! - Joking, but seriously, I feel I've had to make a choice between an unsafe stop and a $100 fine.

What really ticked me off was the fact that though I may have been going beyond the speed limit, that was at least partly due to the fact that I was on a long downhill (northbound Pulaski at 71st) that ends at the light (which has a three second yellow - I've since timed it). I would have had to absolutely slam the brakes to stop.

I know this isn't exactly a cycling issue, but I thought I'd bring it up since the ATA is getting loud about it.
Going downhill isn't an excuse for exceeding the speed limit.
I think, legally, it is. Maybe. Kinda. Isn't it? If someone knows for sure, correct me.


UPDATE - just asked the Google gods, and I might be wrong on this one. Poop.
Joe, I never thought about being in a big van with a lot of expensive equipment and not having to decide to break (and possibly break stuff) or go through the yellow and get a ticket.
If you feel you were caught unfairly, have you contested the tickets? I've heard that those photos are largely inadmissible in court, and that the whole system depends on people paying rather than inconvenience themselves by contesting the tickets. Don't know if that's totally true.

I DO support the cameras, because I see lots of people running red lights. It makes me feel safer knowing that the intersection near my house, at Damen and Division, has a red light cam.
Joe TV said:
I know this isn't exactly a cycling issue, but I thought I'd bring it up since the ATA is getting loud about it.

I believe that red light cameras actually make intersections more dangerous which very much makes this a cycling issue. Drivers tend to either speed up to make it through a yellow or aggressively slam on the brakes in intersections where such cameras are present, and whether or not they are fined for running a red bears no relevance as far as cyclist safety is concerned. I think a much more effective way to improve safety at controlled intersections would be to extend the yellows and set the reds to overlap as is common in some suburbs.

Here's a fairly recent study conducted on the matter. There is no mention of cycling, but you should be able to draw your own conclusions from it. Most others I've read seemed to arrive at very similar conclusions. I'll try to find them when I have some time to do so.
interesting. . . I wonder what would happen if everyone contested.

heather said:
If you feel you were caught unfairly, have you contested the tickets? I've heard that those photos are largely inadmissible in court, and that the whole system depends on people paying rather than inconvenience themselves by contesting the tickets. Don't know if that's totally true.

I DO support the cameras, because I see lots of people running red lights. It makes me feel safer knowing that the intersection near my house, at Damen and Division, has a red light cam.
Get another ticket tomorrow and use it as an opportunity to 1. contest it and 2. double check your math from last time.
Good idea. Can I borrow your car?

Michelle Green said:
Get another ticket tomorrow and use it as an opportunity to 1. contest it and 2. double check your math from last time.
Here's another article on the subject.

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