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City’s Red Light Camera Revenue Continues To Drop

A city of Chicago red light camera (Credit: CBS)

A city of Chicago red light camera (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Fewer Chicago drivers have been getting caught by red light cameras around the city.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports figures obtained by The Expired Meter website showed the number of red light camera tickets issued in 2013 dropped 5 percent compared to 2012, and were down 20 percent over the last five years.

Mike Brockway, who runs The Expired Meter, said he believes several factors are at play.

“There seems to be the implication that people are stopping (at red lights with cameras). Other people think that drivers are avoiding those intersections,” he said. “There’s also some data to show that over the last five years, there has been an overall reduction in the number of people driving, due to the recession, and so just the decline in traffic will have an impact on those numbers.”

He also said countdown clocks on crosswalk signals have helped some drivers.

“Those countdown timers, which are intended for pedestrians, are helping drivers understand where they need to be, as far as braking or speeding up to make sure they don’t get a red light camera ticket,” he said.

Brockway said the numbers last year led to a $3 million decline in revenue for the city. Since 2009, red light camera revenue has dropped $14 million, and recent figures show the city’s new speed cameras are generating far less income than expected.

“Some people think that the speed cameras were kind of an answer to the city’s declining red light camera tickets,” he said.

City officials have said both types of cameras are about traffic safety, not revenue.