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Red light camera violations have increased every month since February

Written by
Clayton Guse

Last March, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that he would remove 50 red light cameras at 25 intersections across town. The removal came during a heated runoff election campaign against Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who promised to eradicate the cameras altogether. 

Chicago's red light cameras have been shrouded in scandal and controversy since the program was launched under Mayor Richard M. Daley. From a bribery conviction to a lawsuit, Chicago motorists are understandably upset at the millions of dollars in tickets that the cameras have brought in.   

Even with the reduction in camera locations in the spring, the city has seen an increase in red light camera violations every month since February. According to the city data portal, there were 47,864 violations in July—an increase of more than 50 percent from the 31,836 recorded in February.

In total, red light cameras pinged motorists with 273,101 violations during the first seven months of the year. Nearly a quarter of those violations came from just 10 intersections. The city's most lucrative red light camera intersection, at Lake Shore Drive and Belmont (the only camera on Lake Shore Drive), racked up 10,183 violations during that span.

Here are the 10 worst red light camera intersections in the city for motorists, and how many violations each occurred at each from January through July.

Lake Shore Drive and Belmont:  10,183 violations

Van Buren and Western: 9,518 violations

California and Diversey: 6,551 violations

Lafayette and 87th: 6,016 violations

Archer and Cicero: 5,841 violations

Wentworth and Garfield: 5,553 violations

Hollywood and Sheridan: 5,395 violations

State and 79th: 5,245 violations

Stoney Island and 76th: 5,125 violations

Laramie and Madison: 4,487 violations

So if you're passing through one of those intersections, be wary of the the cameras. It doesn't look like Rahm is going to curb the red light camera program any time soon—the city is desperate for revenue. 

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